The show must go on: the Vermont Youth Orchestra concert goes virtual | New
COLCHESTER – Over the weekend, the sounds of wind, string and brass instruments filled shows across the state and country as the Vermont Youth Orchestra Association held their first concert of the season.
Musicians in Presto, a program for young beginner string players, performed on Saturday, while 80 Vermont high school students, enrolled in the association’s premier orchestra, the Vermont Youth Orchestra, performed Sunday, November 8 from the stage of the Elley-Long Music Center at Saint Michael’s College.
The in-person audience was limited, but for the first time in VYOA’s history, the concerts were broadcast live for families and friends to watch at home.
To comply with social distancing requirements, students from the Vermont Youth Orchestra practiced and performed in four small groups, said VYOA executive director Rosina Cannizzaro. Each of the groups rehearsed 90 minutes per week for the past 10 to 11 weeks.
“We entered the season knowing that we wouldn’t be able to perform in front of a live audience, so we set up our venue for the live broadcast,” she said. “We made a major investment there.
On stage, there was at least six feet of distance between each of the musicians and the concert hall was cleaned between performances of each group.
“The kids were so proud,” Cannizzaro said. “I think they are really proud of their work and happy to have put on a performance.”
The performances were very varied, but all paid homage to the traditions of classical music. The VYO Romantic Orchestra performed the Rosamunde Overture by Franz Schubert, while the YYO Brass and Percussion Ensemble performed “The Thunderer” by John Philip Souza.
While a live performance in many ways doesn’t compare to listening to music in person, Cannizzaro said this format has some nice silver linings.
The live broadcast of the concert allowed distant relatives, such as grandparents, to watch the show without having to travel.
“We had grandparents from the Netherlands watching, England and Chicago,” Cannizzaro said. “We had parents watching from the west coast and, of course, all over Vermont.”
The Media Factory did all the filming and streaming of the concerts. The footage is now in post-production and when complete will be posted on the VYO website.
“Everyone had a feeling of warmth,” she said. “They were really happy to listen to a concert even if it was on their TV or their computer.”
Going forward, even when things return to normal, Cannizzaro plans to broadcast all performances live at the Elley-Long Music Center.