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Sault Symphony Orchestra holds first live performance in 20 months (9 photos)

Concert at Sault Ste. Marie Museum was sold out

“It feels absolutely amazing.”

That from Louis St. Pierre, Sault Symphony Orchestra (SSO) timpanist and symphony board chair at the orchestra’s first live performance since Feb. 2020, held Friday evening at the Sault Ste. Marie Museum.

50 people attended the sold out event.

The SSO has approximately 40 members, Friday’s performance scaled down to 10 string section musicians and interim conductor Stephen Mallinger.

Nevertheless, it was clearly an enjoyable evening for both musicians and audience members.

“It was a real challenge to get everybody together because everybody’s been more or less idle (since the COVID-19 pandemic struck in March 2020), except for the ones who teach music,” St. Pierre said.

“It’s been a challenge to get everybody out of their shell because everybody’s concerned (about COVID). But once everybody came together it was just absolutely magical how quickly everybody came back once we started practicing again. It was just wonderful to make music again.”

“It was so nice to again have our friends together because we literally had not had a rehearsal since March of 2020. The shows we had were online but they were mostly duets and trios putting on some shows,” said St. Pierre.

St. Pierre did not play in Friday’s concert at the museum, but instead helped organize the event, on hand to assist with seating arrangements.

The symphony played pieces by Vivaldi, Mozart and other masters at Friday’s performance.

St. Pierre said he and his fellow orchestra members eagerly await the day the pandemic completely lifts, looking forward to more concerts at various venues.

St. Pierre said the SSO is planning its next performance, a Christmas show to be held at a yet to be finalized date at a yet to be determined venue.

Approximately half the symphony’s 40 members, including a number of the symphony’s brass section, are based in Sault, Michigan.

Some of them, St. Pierre said, are still reluctant to cross the border.

St. Pierre said the symphony is looking for a new musical director after the departure of longtime conductor John Wilkinson.

Local singer/songwriters MD Dunn and Trevor Tchir opened for the symphony in separate sets Friday, performing their own original music on acoustic guitar.

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Darren Taylor

About the Author: Darren Taylor

Darren Taylor is a news reporter and photographer in Sault Ste Marie. He regularly covers community events, political announcements and numerous board meetings. With a background in broadcast journalism, Darren has worked in the media since 1996.
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