Alexandria Symphony changes October 2-3 Choral Program due to COVID Concerns

Posted Aug 30, 2021 | ASO News, Events, Press Releases, 

Alexandria, VA— Due to concerns about the rising Delta COVID-19 variant, the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra announces changes for the upcoming ASO concerts on October 2 and 3, 2021.

The Alexandria Symphony Orchestra will present Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 on Saturday, October 2, 2021 (7:30 p.m.) and Sunday, October 3, 2021 (3:00 p.m.) at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. This program is a repertoire change from the originally scheduled Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Alexandria Choral Society.

“Choral singing has been found to create a particularly challenging environment for COVID safety,” said ASO Executive Director George Hanson.  “With recent infection rates increasing in Alexandria, we had to make the difficult choice to postpone our performances with the Alexandria Choral Society of Beethoven’s great Choral Symphony, the Ninth.”

ASO is replacing the enormously popular choral symphony with another work of Beethoven, his iconic Fifth Symphony. Also on the program are George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with pianist Michelle Cann, Copland’s inspiring Fanfare for the Common Man, and Valerie Coleman’s work Umoja: Anthem of Unity.

“We are delivering on our promise to ticket buyers by presenting three all-time orchestral favorites to replace the popular Ninth,” said Hanson.

Renowned pianist Michelle Cann has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra and others. The Philadelphia Inquirer described her February 2021 performance with Philadelphia Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin as “exquisite.” A champion of the music of Florence Price, Ms. Cann is recognized as a leading African-American performer dedicated to artistic excellence and community engagement.

“The clarion call for transformation, diversity, unity and joy embodied by Beethoven’s Ninth is being honored in our choice to combine his Fifth Symphony with Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Valerie Coleman’s anthem of unity, Umoja,” says ASO Music Director James Ross. “With Copland’s Fanfare kicking things off and Michelle Cann’s pianistic prowess, we’ve created a big musical tent to celebrate our return to the stage.”

Note: the concerts will be presented with no intermission. Alexandria Symphony Orchestra is committed to providing a safe concert environment for our patrons, musicians and staff. Schlesinger Concert Hall has been completely overhauled with a state-of-the-art ventilation system. At this time, audience members, musicians, staff, and volunteers will be required to wear a mask during performances. ASO is also requiring all attendees, musicians, volunteers and staff be fully-vaccinated. ASO will communicate with ticket buyers well in advance of each performance to establish what specific safety measures will be required to attend.