While Fort Collins Symphony musicians miss playing as one “voice,” the Tiny Concert video series celebrates them as individuals. One patron remarked after watching the classical musicians play their favorite solos in their homes in twenty-six different videos. “Not only are they beautiful, but they also give me a chance to meet orchestra members as individuals.” Executive director, Mary Kopco says, “Who doesn’t love seeing Derek McDonald playing his trumpet while his baby is in the background smiling up a storm or when Peter Linder’s daughter tries to get her dad’s attention so he can open her drink?” These humanizing moments draw us into the lives of the symphony members in a way the tuxedo and the concert hall don’t allow.
The Keep Us Playing campaign for which the Tiny Concert videos are made has raised over $15,000 to keep paying players despite the cancellations of several spring concerts in the Fort Collins Symphony’s season.
When asked whether he’s prepared for this moment Maestro Wes Kenney said, “My 40+ years of working in this business has taught me that without the ability to pivot into something new when the game changes will leave you on the sidelines. We saw our performances drying up and, rather than feeling sorry for ourselves, we decided to be proactive and start something positive because we had the resources to do so.”
And how has this experience benefited the Symphony in surprising ways? Kopco replies, “Our Tiny Concerts are helping us address one of our strategic goals to make the Fort Collins Symphony more accessible to an even wider audience. Connecting musicians and audience in meaningful ways is another one of our goals that the pandemic is spurring the FCS to address.” Forced online due to circumstances and thriving despite it, the Fort Collins Symphony has found a grace note in all this sturm und drang.
And…… If you want to see the symphony for the first time in person since the pandemic started see them this 4th of July at the Holiday Twin Drive In!
This article is part of a series of highlights about our Fort Collins artists and creatives making a difference during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Thank you for supporting local artists, musicians, creative small businesses and Downtown Fort Collins!