TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) -The sounds of the symphony are returning to the stage this weekend. Seven months after their last in-person concert, the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra (SASO) is taking small steps towards live performance.
“I think it was March 16th, if I remember, or the 15th; somewhere in there,” said Linus Lerner, SASO’s Artistic Director. “We were the last ones to perform before the pandemic.”
After his grand plans for 2020 fell flat, Lerner decided the show must go on.
“Sometimes crisis means opportunity,” he said.
SASO has been holding virtual concerts, including one to honor health care workers.
“It’s not the same,” said Lerner. “I mean, I have seen so many – I have done so many things online. It’s not the same. The feeling, the socializing with people, meeting people, hearing … there’s absolutely no way you can substitute that with a virtual performance.”
So, in accordance with Pima County’s new health guidelines for live events, SASO will be performing without an audience at the DesertView Performing Arts Center in Saddlebrook on Saturday, and with an audience at the Catalyst inside of the Tucson Mall on Sunday.
“With the amount of 50 people allowed because we have mathematicians in our orchestra that calculate the right distance,” Lerner said.
In harmony with health, masks will be required for both performers and guests. The 70-piece orchestra is also downsizing to 17 strings.
“I think it gives people hope that things are improving and getting better,” said Sherry Jameson, the President of SASO. “I think all this time people have just thought, ‘Everything is just going to go down the toilet’. I think they are just so happy, people really miss the music!”
The goal of the concert, called “Serenading with SASO”, is to strike a chord with the audience.
“Music is health,” said Lerner. “That’s what we want to do this weekend; lift their souls.”
Tickets are still available for Sunday’s concert. For more information, click HERE.
If you’re not quite ready for socially-distanced gatherings but are starving for classical music, both concerts will be streamed online for free.