Santa Fe Youth Symphony’s quick pivot to online learning and music-making

Posted on: July 16, 2020

“Back when we weren’t really sure whether the coronavirus would be as big a deal as it ultimately became, the Santa Fe Youth Symphony had already started discussing potential ways to pivot,” writes Alex De Fore in Wednesday’s (7/15) Santa Fe Reporter (N.M.). “Executive Director Andrea Cassutt sprung into action, engaging her board and staff in conversations about what the future might hold and adopting online platforms…. By the time Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham handed down her first statewide public health order, Cassutt says the Youth Symphony had already worked out rough contingency plans…. William Reece Wagg, director of orchestras and conductor of the Youth Symphony Orchestra, even managed to meet with each student one-on-one to identify concerns…. Cassut says the organization was ultimately able to hold onto almost all of its students, finishing out its 2019/20 season with roughly 300 kids still onboard. [Said] 17-year-old violinist Alyvia Hogan, ‘They handled it extremely well—especially with how quickly it all happened … They knew and told us it wouldn’t be the same, they made that very clear, but they were also able to coordinate things we wouldn’t have done otherwise…. It was a good experience.’ ”