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Colorado Symphony performs remotely while practicing social distancing

Musicians play ‘Ode to Joy,’ ‘Don’t Stand So Close to Me’ from home
The Colorado Symphony performed “Ode to Joy” via remote linkup while performers observe social distancing during the COVID-19 outbreak.

While the news can seem a little heavy the past few weeks, there are still moments of brightness and beauty. Neighbors helping neighbors, webcasts of puppies, residents taking the necessary precautions to protect each other and surprise video concerts from musicians.

The Colorado Symphony has joined that list as it posts video performances of its musicians playing remotely.

Since Colorado has required that residents remain home except for essential business, the symphony’s musicians record the piece in their own homes. The finished products are a collaboration of those individual performances.

Anthony Pierce, chief artistic officer with the Colorado Symphony, said the idea for the videos came from a meeting of the artistic team when everybody was told that people were going to have to start working remotely.

“We just thought about what we can do. We have some technical savvy we can take advantage of nowadays with mixing and mastering and post-production and audio and video,” he said, adding that figuring out logistics was the key. “We just had to agree what portion of the work we were going to perform. We had to come up with a click track to make sure everybody played at the same tempo. We had to make a roster for the orchestra so everybody knew what part they were playing. “

Last week, the horn section did a rendition of “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” by The Police.

And on Monday, the whole symphony performed “Ode to Joy” from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

Along with the videos, Pierce said that fans of the symphony should check in with the group’s website because it’s trying to figure out ways to share its archived content. He said the symphony wants to share performances from the last couple of seasons.

And while the ultimate goal is to get the Colorado Symphony back on stage and performing for live audiences, Pierce said for now, the musicians’ videos can offer people a little escape.

“Music is the universal language, and it’s one of the things that can give people comfort during a stressful, difficult time. And if there’s a way we can share it, we want to,” he said. “And I think maybe it sets an example in a certain way because you see that, ‘Hey, everybody is staying at home and they’re figuring out new ways of working.”

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