Pensacola Symphony musicians and music director on value of shared musical experience

Posted on: May 29, 2020

“Like so many others, members of the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra wait for the return of happier times, on the other side of the pandemic,” writes Dan Sugart on Wednesday (5/27) at WEAR-TV (Pensacola, FL). “For the past quarter-century, give or take, [Music Director] Peter Rubardt has guided this polished team of gifted, professional musicians…. But the COVID-19 pandemic silenced the season and unsettled lives. ‘It’s a hard, hard time to be a musician, that is true,’ Rubardt acknowledges…. The Symphony Orchestra provides only part of their livelihood. Principal Flute Stephanie Riegle [and] principal clarinet Richard Jernigan … both still teach. But … ‘The magic is when they all come together,’ says Jernigan. ‘The instruments are uniquely designed for this group sort of experience.’ … Riegle says, ‘I think it’s especially heartbreaking not to be able to share what we do with our community when it could really benefit them, right now, when they need it the most.’ … The day the orchestra will perform again … ‘will feel overwhelmingly emotional,’ Riegle adds, ‘just to hear and feel the music resonate again.’ … Says Rubardt, ‘I think if you can zoom very far out, you recognize that music is absolutely essential.’ ”