Bozeman Symphony announces plans for new season
Bozeman, September 2020 – The Bozeman Symphony announces important changes to its much anticipated 53rd concert season with new Music Director Norman Huynh. As the Coronavirus pandemic evolves, the Symphony’s Covid-19 Task Force has continued to monitor information and guidelines made available at the local, state, and national levels. With the health and well-being of the Symphony’s entire community at the forefront, the organization will postpone the fall season. It remains the Symphony’s intention to present six concert programs during the spring and summer of 2021, with repertoire modifications to what has been announced previously.
As part of the initial response to the pandemic, the Bozeman Symphony formed a Task Force consisting of administrative staff, board members, community representation, and musicians. The Task Force has been exploring a variety of strategies and alternative venues that would allow for the safe continuation of live performances throughout 2020-2021 with musician and audience safety a top priority. In navigating the pandemic, the Symphony engaged with hundreds of individuals who participated in an audience survey providing critical insights related to performance expectations for the remainder of this year. From the survey, two main themes emerged: patrons’ willingness to support the Symphony, despite what performance offerings may look like, and the safety and health of the musicians.
“Bozeman is an exceptional community that loves the arts and loves their Symphony. The community is ensuring the vitality of the orchestra and choir, which is incredibly motivating during this difficult and surreal time. It challenges us to be innovators, to reinvent in a multitude of ways what the concert experience will look like now and in the future” said Emily Paris-Martin, Executive Director.
The Symphony was set to begin the 2020-2021 season in September; however, the challenges and realities of how to make this possible have been overwhelming. Studies about performance during the pandemic are available worldwide, primarily focused on musician safety and aerosol spread through instruments in the orchestra. Along with these studies, considerations related to stage size, capacity, audience safety, and input from the Gallatin County Health Department and community partners are the driving forces in the decision to postpone the fall season.
Principal Flute and Covid-19 Task Force member Sue Makeever is eager to play with her fellow musicians once again. However, Sue wants assurances for the safety of the musicians and patrons. “The Symphony Board, staff, and musicians are saddened to make the difficult decision to postpone the fall season. Trying to manage a concert where orchestra members and audience come together is just not practical at this time,” said Makeever. “Thank you for your patience as we work through this process. We look forward to making music again and seeing our wonderful donors and supporters.”
Throughout the fall, the Symphony will provide additional forms of entertainment such as Music Director Norman Huynh’s new Vlog series about his adventures in Bozeman (available on the Symphony’s YouTube and social media channels) along with digital content featuring the lives of the musicians outside the concert hall and much more. Under new artistic leadership, Board Chair Stephen Schachman shares, “Norman is an exceptional talent and we are fortunate to have someone of his level of expertise help forge the future of the Bozeman Symphony.” This holds especially true as the Bozeman Symphony finds itself in a position to offer its artists and audiences a much-needed source of inspiration, optimism, and artistic leadership in navigating Covid-19.
The Symphony wishes to thank David Ross and Risi for their season sponsorship and the season subscribers, donors, and patrons who have provided support through this transition. The Bozeman Symphony is fully committed to serving its community and believes music will move us forward. For questions regarding the postponement of the fall season, please contact the Bozeman Symphony at 406-585-9774 or visit bozemansymphony.org. •