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'If we don’t play, we’ll disappear.' Charlotte Symphony resumes rehearsals carefully

Oct 19, 2020

By Liz Rothaus Bertrand, Arts Correspondent, The Charlotte Observer 

After sitting dark for months, music and light has filled Knight Theater once again. Twenty-two musicians from the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra recently gathered there for their first indoor rehearsals together since March.

Despite challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, the symphony is charging ahead with a revamped fall season, including virtual concerts, and carefully adhering to COVID-19 health guidelines to bring live music back to Charlotte.

Artists say the show must go on for the symphony to survive. The Observer attended one of their rehearsals in early October to see how orchestra members were adjusting in this new reality. For now, indoors rehearsals only includes string instruments.

"You know musicians -- we eat, drink, breathe music, and to not be able to play for maybe seven months was absolutely dreadful really for us," music director Christopher Warren-Green said. "So any chance to play together in harmony with each other is a godsend, but it's not easy."

From masks and social distancing to repertoire changes and new safety protocols, the symphony has had to adapt in many ways to proceed with a fall season.

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