ABILENE, Texas (News Release) – As our community continues to navigate the ongoing pandemic, the Abilene Philharmonic’s highest priority will always be the health, safety, and well-being of our musicians, audience, and staff. During these challenging times, the APO Board and Staff have been working diligently to ensure that the music plays on! After careful consideration, the Abilene Philharmonic Board has made the difficult decision to reprogram the remaining concerts of the 2020-21 Concert Season.
The 2020-21 Reimagined Concert Season will consist of four concerts all held at First Baptist Church of Abilene and will feature a reduced orchestra. Each concert will offer a 3:00 p.m. matinee performance in addition to the traditional 7:30 p.m. performance.
“While this is not how we expected to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of our beloved orchestra, we are excited about what this new season has to offer,” said Kevin Smith, Executive Director. “Maestro Itkin did a tremendous job reprogramming the season to include both well known pieces as well as rarer, more intriguing works.”
Some highlights of the Reimagined Season include an all strings concert on January 30, Beethoven’s Triple Concerto on March 27, and world-renowned violinist Angelo Xiang Yu performing the popular Vivaldi Four Seasons on April 17.
“The decision to reprogram the remaining concerts of this season was very difficult, but these are difficult times and it’s our job to make sure the music continues to live here,”said Mandy Gollihar, Board President. “We could have followed suit with other Texas orchestras and only performed virtual concerts, but live music is essential to our mission and this decision gives us the best opportunity to accomplish that.”
In order to maintain a safe and comfortable concert experience, the APO has also updated its audience member protocols which include:
- All audience members, musicians, and staff are required to wear a mask covering both their nose and mouth throughout the concert.
- The concert program is reduced to one hour to remove the need for an intermission.
- All audience members will have their temperature checked when arriving at the venue.
- Audience capacity will be capped at 30% and every other row will be left vacant to ensure proper social distancing.
- At the end of the performance, ushers will dismiss each row of the audience, starting from the back of the venue, to prevent crowding.
The APO Board and Staff will continue to closely monitor this ongoing situation and will make changes as directed by local and state health officials. Tickets for the 2020-21 Reimagined Season will go on sale October 27th, with ticket priority given to current season subscribers.