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Classical 101

Orchestra Rehearses In Warehouse For Return To In-Person Concerts

Newark-Granville Symphony - photo by Jennifer Hambrick, WOSU Public Media.JPG
Hambrick, Jennifer M.
/
WOSU
The Newark-Granville Symphony Orchestra rehearses in the Clarity Medical warehouse.

In most ways, it’s a typical orchestra rehearsal – musicians with their instruments, the conductor with his scores and everyone striving to perfect their performance of the music at hand. But unlike a typical orchestra rehearsal, this one takes place in a warehouse. And the orchestra has convened for a special occasion – to rehearse for its first public in-person concert in more than a year.

The Newark-Granville Symphony Orchestra lost its usual rehearsal space on the Ohio State University’s Newark campus when the pandemic forced the university to prohibit outside visitors on campus.

“We had two options when the pandemic hit. We either would close our doors and pause until the pandemic’s over, or find an alternative space,” said Susan Larson, executive director of the Newark-Granville Symphony Orchestra. “We wanted to keep the music going.”

Larson knew of the perfect space for the orchestra’s rehearsals. She and her husband, Peter Larson, own Klarity Medical Products, a manufacturer and distributor of products for various medical specializations. As you can see in the video, the company’s warehouse served double duty as a rehearsal space for the Newark-Granville Symphony as the orchestra prepared for its most recent performance, May 15 – its first public in-person concert since the beginning of the pandemic.

Newark-Granville Symphony Rehearses For Return To In-Person Concerts

The orchestra performed the concert before a socially distanced in-person audience – maximum 300 people – at Newark’s Midland Theatre.

“It was exciting greeting people in the lobby,” Larson said. “You could feel the energy and enthusiasm throughout the evening.”

The May 15 concert was also live-streamed, and the resulting video is available on the orchestra’s website.

While the Newark-Granville Symphony Orchestra has continued to perform virtually throughout the pandemic, the orchestra’s music director, Russel C. Mikkelson, says the recent in-person concert was especially meaningful for the orchestra’s musicians.

“There is nothing worse than performing a piece and hearing dead silence at the end,” Mikkelson said. “We need to have that applause, that recognition, that satisfaction that comes from that. It’s one thing to make music alone, and it’s quite another to share it with others. And that’s what music and art is meant to be. It’s meant to be shared with others.”