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Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Resumes Practice With COVID-19 Safety Precautions In Place

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- In July, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra canceled all concerts through November 29 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But now, the organization is launching a new way fans can still experience the orchestra on a more personal level.

After nearly six months apart, with no choice but to practice virtually in the midst of the pandemic, the BSO is back doing what they love most- making music on stage together again.


"The last time we were in this hall was on March 11," BSO oboist Michael Lisicky said.

"I think it's fair to say an orchestra is a community, and it's a family," he added.

But, practice is held much differently now.

Pre-pandemic, practice used to hold upwards of about 80 to 90 musicians on stage. Now, it's only eight.

For the past three weeks, the BSO has been bringing in "cohorts" of the orchestra at a time to practice in-person, while following all standard protocols- such as wearing masks, temperature checks and practicing social distancing.

"Even the stage flats have been reviewed by experts in public health and engineering to ensure that we have ample distance between musicians to allow for aerosols," Tonya McBride Robles, BSO VP and Chief Operating Officer, said.

Now, the BSO is sharing their journey with the public through a new digital concert series called "BSO Sessions."

"Sessions is an intimate, inspirational look at the musicians, with incredible music," Robles said. "And we're also able to highlight emerging voices and composers of color."

A unique perspective, showcasing BSO musicians through documentary-style content, masterpieces and hidden gems of the orchestral repertoire.

Organizers said it's a new way to experience classical music moving forward.

"It's a way to stay connected when people desperately need the power of music to bring hope," Robles said.

Tickets for BSO sessions will go on sale October 7. It will premiere on Wednesday, October 14.

To check out the line-up and learn more, please click here.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department's website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ's coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

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