Rockford Symphony Orchestra hosts series of outdoor concerts

Published: Sep. 13, 2020 at 6:46 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - The Rockford Symphony Orchestra returns and plays its first concert since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic at the Sinnissippi Music Shell. Sounds of trumpets, flutes, and violins erupt through the stands as a limited crowd enjoys the orchestra’s much-anticipated return.

“Music is absolutely necessary to quality of life for me and to many," says fan of Rockford Symphony Orchestra Arnold Rosen.

With half of its normal crew, the orchestra plays its first musical set in months to a socially distant crowd, but many say it’s worth it to safely soak in the sounds of the symphony.

“We’ve had people messaging us that I’ve been in a dark place but I just want you to know that the performance last night lifted me up and that you matter, you really matter," says Marketing Director for the Rockford Symphony Orchestra Michele McAfee.

Fans of the orchestra say they miss the liveliness music brings.

“I love the music, I love the musicians, I love the performance, the whole vibe," says Rosen "To go cold turkey and to remain deficient in that regard for so long is painful, it’s like an ache.”

The musicians say they miss playing for an audience.

“Just playing out in front of our friends is a real joy," says Principal Cellist in the Rockford Symphony Orchestra Mike Beert. "What can I say, this is what we train to do.”

Even though there are noticeable differences, with masks and a smaller crowd, organizers say the goal is to give people in attendance an experience they won’t forget.

“I’m hoping what will happen is the minute they are in this environment in the beautiful sunshine in front of a full symphony orchestra that they will forget about the face mask,” says McAfee.

The Rockford Symphony Orchestra does not have another scheduled performance in 2020, but you can see them at the Coronado Performing Arts Center, January 16, 2021.

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