National Virtual Medical Orchestra records its first video

Posted on: July 1, 2020

“As the novel coronavirus pandemic left many Americans confined to their homes and the medical community under extreme stress, Providence Medical Orchestra conductor John Masko began searching for opportunities,” writes Katie Mulvaney in Sunday’s (6/28) Providence Journal (R.I.). “Masko began contacting the directors of some 18 medical orchestras nationwide with the idea of putting together a virtual ensemble. He had soon compiled a list of doctors, nurses, first-responders and medical students interested in the concept. They were in Texas, Los Angeles, Virginia, Indiana, Detroit, New York, Boston, Providence and other locations. ‘The response was pretty amazing,’ … said Masko…. And with that was born the National Virtual Medical Orchestra, a 50-musician group led by Masko. It released its first video performance Wednesday … the second movement of Beethoven’s 4th Symphony…. Each [musician] sent in their final recording, often made on a cellphone or laptop. A producer, in turn, melded the 50 recordings together…. While [Masko] was studying history and music at Yale University … he began conducting the Yale Medical Symphony Orchestra…. In 2018 [he] began the Providence Medical Orchestra. Masko already has the next piece mapped out for the National Virtual Orchestra: the Brahms Academic Festival Overture.”