The Southwest Florida Symphony announced that its youth orchestras have resumed activities, beginning with auditions on November 16, followed by Monday rehearsals three times a month in downtown Fort Myers, Florida. The Southwest Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra Ensembles had cancelled rehearsals and concerts in March due to the pandemic; in reconvening the youth ensembles, the orchestra’s education department is following guidelines set by Lee County Schools and the CDC. “I am so happy that we are safely taking steps to resume and restore our Youth Orchestra activities,” says Southwest Florida Symphony Education and Community Outreach Director Kara Griffith. “The cognitive, social and emotional benefits of studying music are numerous and well-documented, and I look forward to offering all of these much-needed benefits to our students and community in the near future.” The Southwest Florida Symphony originally planned to begin its 60th year on October 26, but alternative performance plans are currently being developed. Additionally, the Southwest Florida Symphony’s music-director search has been paused until it is safe for large groups of musicians and patrons to convene. In the interim, the orchestra’s programming will be guided by Nir Kabaretti, who stepped down as music director at the end of the 2019-20 season.