The music of the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra never stopped
NEW BEDFORD – The New Bedford Symphony Orchestra performed over 130 concerts and programs both virtual and in person between March 20, 2020 and March 21, 2021. These events included a wide range of musical and educational programs featuring musicians and staff of the orchestra. Musical performances varied widely, including musicians playing live from their homes, masked cellists playing in local parks, open-air concerts in senior residences, and a string quartet giving a drive-through concert in the parking lot of the New Bedford ferry terminal. In addition, the orchestra presented several online performances recorded on the stage of the Zeiterion Performing Arts Center. In total, the NBSO presented 40 online educational programs, 34 pop-up outdoor concerts, 19 live performances, 18 music performance videos, 14 online music conferences, four online symphony concerts, three chamber music concerts online and a drive-through concert.
According to NBSO President and CEO Dave Prentiss, “When Governor Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency due to the pandemic last March, traditional symphony concerts were suddenly no longer viable. Although stunned, we strongly felt the urge to do whatever we could to bring the music, with its joy and connection, to the community as quickly as possible. Our first live performance, Fiddle Time, was over a year ago on March 20th. Based on the concert’s positive impact during this time of confusion and anxiety, we knew we had to keep making music regardless of the challenges. Our musicians and staff truly lived up to the occasion.
NBSO Education Director Terry Wolkowicz has also started creating free online music programs for schools and families. The NBSO then converted its Learning In Concert school program to an online format. This year’s program, Bird Flight Patterns and Music, has reached over 100 schools in 32 states and has also been supported by dozens of chapters of the Audubon Society who have provided it to even more schools in their communities.
The NBSO is a professional symphony orchestra with an annual operating budget of $ 1.3 million. In 2019, the orchestra performed with internationally renowned guest artists, presenting a series of 7 classical and pop music concerts and a series of 5 chamber music concerts, as well as nationally recognized educational programs for children. from the south coast. For more information on the NBSO, visit nbsymphony.org.