Special Edition Magazine - May/June 2020

Page 24

negaunee music institute at the cso

Virtual Harmony: Civic Orchestra Celebrates 100 Years with Online Concert


ust like that, there were no concerts—no rehearsals, tuxedos, or tuning led by the concertmaster. There were neither program books to hand out nor audience members to peruse the glossy pages. All that remained in Orchestra Hall was the ghost light shining onstage for safety and honoring all past performers in the sacred space. All of this, of course, was caused by the response to the global COVID-19 pandemic and a desire to protect the health and wellbeing of the population. As a precaution, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced a ban on all large gatherings beginning March 12. At the time, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s training ensemble, was ready to celebrate its 100th anniversary on March 29, the exact day of its first performance in 1920. Founded by second

CSO Music Director Frederick Stock, the Civic Orchestra has trained over 7,000 musicians around the world, including 171 who have gone on to become members of the CSO. The anniversary concert was to be led by Principal Conductor Ken-David Masur and

to p to bot to m: A ghost light illuminates Orchestra Hall’s Armour Stage, while activity in the building and around the world has paused since the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo by Todd Rosenberg | Members of the Civic Orchestra come together, virtually, for a performance of Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony, which was seen live by thousands of people during its premiere, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the ensemble.