Helena Symphony musicians provide vital service with videos during pandemic, says music director

Posted on: April 13, 2020

Helena Symphony Orchestra musicians performing over Facebook Live. Clockwise from top left: Principal Percussion Jeffrey H. Vick, Principal Flute Barbara Pile Berg, Concertmaster Stephen Cepeda, and Principal Trumpet Thomas Lee during their performances.

“After canceling or rescheduling at least four upcoming concerts due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Helena Symphony Orchestra’s Music Director and Conductor Allan R. Scott decided to find a way for his musicians to continue delivering what he believes to be an essential service,” writes Nolan Lister in Sunday’s (4/12) Independent Record (Helena, MT). Musicians from the orchestra are performing music “from their living rooms via the organization’s Facebook page.… On March 30, the orchestra’s Concertmaster Stephen Cepeda played an excerpt from the first movement of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Sonata No. 1 in G Minor, a calming, somber piece of music…. ‘We just tried it, and within a day it blew up,’ Scott said. ‘It’s like people are starving for this.’ … Principal Hornist Eri Vang’s contribution to the series Wednesday featured an introduction from her chocolate lab, Kjersti…. ‘The dog is barking, and I’m wearing sweatpants,’ Vang said. ‘There’s something very leveling about it.’ Scott said that live, personal aspect strikes the right note: ‘This Facebook Live thing is not about virtuosity, though we’re getting virtuosic moments, but it’s about being together. …I have never been more proud as the music director of the Helena Symphony.’ ” “