AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic prevented The Amarillo Symphony from doing what they love to do, bringing music and joy to a live audience.
“You feel the adrenaline when it comes to performance time. You feel the excitement. You feed off of that with the audience too. You can tell when they’re enjoying it,” said Haley Cheon, Amarillo Symphony Development Director.
Cheon describes playing in front of live audiences, which was something they missed out on doing last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“If you think about what a symphony is, primarily a symphony puts on concerts and we couldn’t do what our primary job and purpose was. So we had to see, how else could we fulfill our mission as a non-profit organization,” said Cheon.
This included pop up concerts.
“We had a quartet of musicians go out to the local library or to the atrium of an office building or something like that and pop up and just start playing a little bit of music,” said Cheon.
It continued on in their youth orchestra.
“Children that are from different neighborhoods, all different schools and learn to perform music together, all different levels. They’re all the way from elementary school all the way to high school coming together and performing, rehearsing and eventually playing in the globe news center of the performing arts,” said Cheon.
Cheon understands that excitement of performing as she not only serves as development director but also has a permanent chair in the first violin section.
“We always think about group projects in school. Group projects don’t always work if not everybody contributes. But the symphony is the greatest kind of group projects because everybody does contribute. Everyone is responsible for his or her own part and it contributes to the whole, making this wonderful piece of music come alive under the direction of the conductor. I think that’s what makes it so exhilarating is the multitude of people. You’re just one of the group but you’re contributing. You have an important piece to communicate something wonderful and beautiful to the audience,” said Cheon.
The symphony is now back to performing in front of live audiences and are currently in the second half of their 97th concert season.
To check out The Symphony’s upcoming performances and how to get tickets to attend, click here.