Iowa’s Quad City Symphony adapts during pandemic season of 2020-21

Posted on: January 20, 2021

The Quad City Symphony Orchestra performs at LeClaire Park in Davenport, Iowa.

“Of all the shuffling, rescheduling and reimagining the Quad City Symphony Orchestra has had to do since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, no task was more challenging than staging the Quad City Bank & Trust Co. Riverfront Pops concert in September,” writes Alma Gaul in Monday’s (1/18) Quad City Times (IA). “The date was changed. The location was changed. The size of the orchestra was reduced…. Every component of the concert had to be changed. And when the cannons roared and the fireworks soared, it was for a crowd of just 2,000, about one-fourth the typical 7,000. ‘But all things considered, it was highly successful,’ Brian Baxter, executive director of the orchestra association, said…. Overall, attendance at Masterworks concerts (digital and limited in-person) is running about 50% compared to normal and, from March through December, earned income from tickets was down 69% ($470,000) compared to the same period in 2019, Baxter said. To help fill the gap, the symphony has received a $221,400 loan from the Payroll Protection Program of the federal CARES Act…. In addition, the symphony received three grants totaling $48,400 from the Iowa Arts Council…. Financial help also has come from the private sector…. To date, six concerts have been canceled and five have been postponed. Of the postponed, three have already occurred…. ‘There’s still a lot going on,’ Baxter said. ‘We’re doing as much as we can as safely as we can.’ ”