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Wyoming Symphony Orchestra returns with small ensemble concerts

Wyoming Symphony Orchestra returns with small ensemble concerts


Wyoming Symphony Orchestra conductor and music director Christopher Dragon leads the musicians through a piece of music in October during his first rehearsal with the symphony as its new conductor. He's set to return for a small ensemble concert and is working on the to-be-announced current season. 

The Wyoming Symphony Orchestra returns to live music with a concert Thursday with the WSO Brass in downtown Casper. The performance with five symphony brass players kicks off a three-part series of small ensemble concerts.

The show is the symphony’s first since the final two concerts of its last season were either canceled or postponed because of the pandemic. The regular concert season, which normally begins in the fall has been postponed to later in the year.

Meanwhile, the series features groups of the symphony’s principal musicians and begins the symphony’s first foray into livestream offerings, executive director Rachel Bailey said.

“And the reasons for doing that is A, that we really wanted to start producing live music again, so that people have access to it,” she said. “But also we wanted to give some of our musicians work.”

Many of them have been greatly impacted by canceled gigs during the pandemic.

The free WSO Brass concert is slated for 6:30 p.m. with doors at 6 p.m. Thursday at The Lyric. (The show has been moved inside from David Street Station because of weather.) Urban Bottle will offer wine and beer for sale.

Masks are required, and social distancing will be enforced.

The series is set to continue Oct. 22 with a five-piece string ensemble and talk with conductor Christopher Dragon about the music in a sort of hybrid between the symphony’s pre-concert talks and an ensemble concert at a venue to be announced, Bailey said.

“We kind of wanted to make it fun and interactive and engaging for the audience and accessible with accessible music, and then a little bit deeper understanding about what they’re listening to,” Bailey said.

Details will be announced for the third concert in November with a wind ensemble. The ensemble concerts in October and November will be ticketed and limited to 80 people with an option to watch via livestream from home.

“During these times, I think it’s just really important for people to be able to access and to experience art and performance and live music in particular,” Bailey said. “And I think it’ll be a great way for people to do that, and we’ll make it as safe of a setting as possible.”

The symphony team plans to continue the online access for all the 2020-21 regular season concerts.

“There will be a season, and it will be a combination of in-person and livestreaming, and we hope to be announcing it soon,” Bailey said. “But we’re looking towards having our first concert on Dec. 5.”

Plans include the “Suffragette Symphony,” originally planned for last season’s finale, as well as returning and new guest artists, according to the symphony website.

“Christopher has been pouring his creative energy into building a season that has the flexibility to adhere to local and federal recommendations and is accessible to everyone’s needs,” according to the symphony website, “while also being an incredibly fun season with a wide variety of popular and exciting repertoire.”

Follow arts & culture reporter Elysia Conner on twitter @erconner


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