Erie Phil From Home Brings Orchestra to Our Chambers
Online multimedia series offers escape through music
Missing the concert hall during quarantine? A typical symphony orchestra performance can feature anywhere from 70 to 100 or more musicians. Even smaller chamber orchestras can consist of up to 50 instrumentalists — an awful large number to fit in the guest room, and furthermore a blatant violation of public health protocols. Luckily, sound carries easily across social distances, from performers to listeners miles apart.
With the curtains closed early on the Erie Philharmonic's 2019-20 Season, the symphony has opened a new online theater called Erie Phil From Home. The content platform serves up performances from Erie Philharmonic musicians and the guest artists who have worked with them over the years, along with a look into their hobbies, passions, and personalities as they adapt to a way of life that is anything but normal (in the classical sense).
Just because Sir Isaac Newton tinkered with the concept of gravity while isolating from the plague doesn't mean we have to feel weighed down, too. Erie Phil At Home seeks to lighten our loads with art and music, in the form of solo video performances, Spotify playlists curated by music director Daniel Meyer, concertmaster Ken Johnston, and other Philharmonic personnel, while also previewing the upcoming 2020-21 season. There are even printable coloring pages, lesson plans, and educational resources for kids.
Speaking of the Erie Philharmonic 2020-21 season, it is slated to begin Saturday, Sept. 12 with the first entry of the 2020-21 Symphonic Series, "A Night at the Opera." While the Warner Theatre undergoes renovations, Erie Insurance Arena will serve as this season's venue, with every effort made to replicate its unique atmosphere and acoustics while sharing the space with the Erie Otters, Erie BayHawks, and any other productions that may come through. Of course, this is all contingent on safely being able to gather en masse during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
It remains to be seen whether we'll be chasing phantoms of "A Night at the Opera" come the fall. In the meantime, enjoy and relax to the sounds of classical music while cooking, cleaning, sewing, knitting, reading, writing, knife juggling, or whatever you're doing to pass the time at home. After the crescendo and denouement of this pandemic, we look forward to beginning this symphony's next movement.
Matt Swanseger is an amateur MIDI pianist, organist, and flugelhornist that can be reached at email@example.com