By Eric Dundon
While the first concerts of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra’s 2020/2021 season look much different than other years, the SLSO continues to share the power of music with the St. Louis community. Staged outdoors with socially distanced audiences, SLSO musicians are bringing music directly to people where they are.
SLSO On the Go performances have brought chamber music and solo concerts to public spaces, healthcare facilities, senior communities—even right to people’s homes. These pop-up concerts were designed to surprise and thank people throughout the community.
At Crown Center for Senior Living in University City, a string quartet recently performed a concert of works by composers including Dvorak, Mozart, and Florence Price. Nikki Goldstein, the community’s executive director, said residents were thrilled to welcome musicians.
“Having an outdoor concert in our own backyard with outstanding musicians, it was beyond wonderful," Goldstein said. "I think it really lifted everybody’s spirits and gave everyone a sense of hope and joy.”
In North St. Louis County, people participating in a meal pick-up program at the St. Louis County Library branch were treated to a morning concert. Library District Executive Director Kristen Sorth said having the SLSO musicians was an unexpected treat that prompted people to park their cars and listen.
“As people came through the line to pick up their meals, I think they were surprised and completely delighted to get to hear live music,” she said.
SLSO On the Go concerts also serve as a way to thank healthcare workers and bring live music to people who have lived in isolation for months. At Crown Center, resident Miriam Roth said the concert came at just the right time.
“It’s a relief," Roth said. "A big relief. And a big enjoyment, of course.”
For Goldstein, the impact of the SLSO’s performances in the community are even greater.
“This helped us really feel like that community again, so it was just a life-saver, really,” Goldstein said.
Eric Dundon is the SLSO's Public Relations Manager.