Elgin Youth Symphony’s careful return to in-person rehearsals and performance

Posted on: November 10, 2020

The Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra’s 300-plus students use social distancing while practicing.

“Music has always been important to Miguel Rodriguez, who plays the flute in the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra,” writes Gloria Casas in Friday’s (11/6) Elgin Courier-News (IL). “It’s become a lifeline for the 17-year-old during the COVID-19 pandemic…. This fall [the orchestra’s musicians] resumed in-person rehearsals…. Executive director Eric Larson and artistic director Matthew Sheppard and other staff spent the summer figuring out how the 2020-21 season could be held during a pandemic. By following the rules laid out by local health departments and the CDC, they split things up, spread things out and gave it a shot…. Parents can’t come into rehearsals. Volunteers take students’ temperatures…. Students rehearse in small groups… A bell cover [for woodwind and brass players] helps minimize the aerosol spread.… The Nov. 15 [livestreamed] concert is free—they’ll do performances at 2, 4:30 and 7 p.m…. Larson said they are just happy to be able to present live performances…. ‘This is one way or another a stressful time for most of us,’ he said. ‘These students love performing music and being able to do that in a time like this is a fantastic benefit to them.’ ”