IF Symphony Returns on October 9th with Virtual Audiences
The first subscription concert of Season 72 at the Idaho Falls Symphony on Saturday, October 9th, features the long-awaited return of the full Symphony orchestra. However, due to the current hospital crisis and high levels of Covid-19 in our community, the first concert will remain a virtual event. Despite the delay in the return of live audiences, the October 9th broadcast will still feature the full Idaho Falls Symphony orchestra conducted by Music Director Thomas Heuser— their first performance as a combined orchestra since the 2020 shutdown.
“We are celebrating the return of the full orchestra, but still missing our audiences,” remarks Heuser, who has been Music Director since 2011. “The Symphony organization is disappointed, but our goal is to bring back audiences as soon as possible, and as safely as possible. Meanwhile, the music will be breathtaking, and we as an orchestra can finally come together again in the service of this great community.”
The “New Beginnings” program is the annual Pink Ribbon Concert, sponsored by Mountain View Hospital during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Featured on the program will be the Senior Division Winner of the Symphony’s 2020 Young Artists Competition: violinist Laurana Wheeler Roderer, performing music by Sergei Prokofiev. Laurana is an Idaho Falls native who previously served as concertmaster of the Idaho Falls Youth Symphony. She holds a degree in violin performance from Utah State University, where she studied with Robert Waters and the Fry Street Quartet. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in violin performance at Arizona State University, where she studies with Dr. Katherine McLin. In 2018, she was a recipient of a Presser Foundation Fellowship and a Russell Orchestral Scholarship. A versatile performer with many ambitious projects, Laurana recently co-wrote a libretto, commissioned, and produced an original chamber opera concerning global sustainability. The opera, “A Storm We Call Progress,” premiered in a virtual format in October 2020.
Regarding the return of live audiences, the staff and Board of Directors are in constant conversation about logistics, while soliciting advice from medical professionals and providing surveys to ticket holders. The Symphony has a vaccine requirement in place for its musicians and staff, which is allowing the large ensemble to gather safely. However, the Symphony Board voted unanimously in September to postpone the return of live audiences until December 2021. The upcoming October and November concerts will still feature the full orchestra, but audiences will be joining via live stream only. Thanks to a substantial CARES Act Grant through the City of Idaho Falls, the online Symphony productions promise to be state-of-the-art.
The October 9th Pink Ribbon performance of “New Beginnings” airs at 7:30pm, and tickets are available through the Symphony’s website at www.ifsymphony.org. Concert links remain active for two weeks after the event for on-demand viewing. Online access for the entire household is just $9.99 per event, or audiences can purchase a virtual season ticket for less than $50. Tickets for in-person seating are currently still available for concerts later in the season, which themselves come with complimentary virtual access.