Pennsylvania’s Reading Symphony on perseverance during the pandemic

Posted on: January 12, 2021

“The Reading Symphony Orchestra’s March concert, presenting works by Jennifer Higdon and Joan Tower, turned out to be their last for the year” due to Covid-19, writes Susan L. Peña in Monday’s (1/11) BCTV (Reading, PA). “In the orchestra’s 108 years, this level of cancellation is unprecedented. When we talked, during the final weeks of 2020, with the RSO’s executive director, David Gross; music director/conductor Andrew Constantine; board president Michael Duff; and Reading Symphony Youth Orchestra director Christopher Cinquini, all of them spoke with subdued hope for a better 2021.” The four speak about paying musicians with Paycheck Protection Program funding; Constantine’s podcasts; replacing a planned fundraiser with a streamed event; and reconvening string musicians of the Reading Symphony Youth Orchestra, socially distanced, in the fall. “For more than a century, the orchestra has been a point of pride for Reading … a driver for the city’s economy…. ‘If you had asked me in March, I would have said you’re crazy if you told me we’d be doing this well by now,’ said Duff. ‘I appreciate the support we’ve gotten from the community, our donors and our patrons, and I ask for their patience as we go through this pandemic.’ ”