Edmonton Symphony musicians talk concert dress

Posted on: December 12, 2011

In Saturday’s (12/10) Edmonton Journal (Alberta, Canada), Elizabeth Withey writes, “Nora Bumanis has a black hole in her house. ‘It’s gotten to the point where I’ve had to put a brighter bulb in my closet,’ the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra’s principal harpist explains. … The dress code for ESO musicians is pretty straightforward. ‘Black and white, black and white,’ says timpanist Barry Nemish of the men’s attire, either tuxedo or tails. Women wear all-black, but they have more choice when it comes to styles: skirt, slacks, blouse, jacket, turtleneck, gown, it’s all acceptable, though nothing sleeveless and no minis. … ‘The whole idea of the orchestra wardrobe is uniformity, ideally,’ says Donald Plumb, a French horn player. ‘It makes us look like a group. … For [French horn player Megan] Evans, the dress code is a little too conservative. That could be an age thing; she is one of the orchestra’s youngest musicians. ‘I personally think we should be able to wear as shiny sparkles as possible. Is it really going to make you stop listening to the music? I don’t think so.’ The orchestra’s look is beginning to shift away from the rigid black formal style, Bumanis says. Pops concerts call for ‘trendy black,’ which musicians may interpret as they like.”

Posted December 12, 2011