The Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra is kicking off it’s 58th season this weekend with a pandemic friendly event.
Garrett Allman, Music Director and Conductor of the J.S.O. Is being celebrated during his Ruby Anniversary season, as he begins his 40th year serving as conductor.
Allman says the season opener this Saturday will be a unique experience for all that honors some players from the past, while being mindful of the well-being of their patrons.
“We are doing a virtual program to open the season this Saturday. And we had the idea, let’s feature some of our past grand prize winners from our Talent Among Us Contests which we have every year. The grand prize winner plays with the symphony on a concert, so we thought it would be nice to feature them so we sent out emails and had to do some sleuthing to track down some of them from fifteen years ago or more. We have a program now with eleven scheduled. They each sent a video of sometimes a recent performance, and some are back a few years ago.”
Allman says the production will start this Saturday night at the same time the first live performance of the year would have started.
“We will put those together and play those and I will introduce each one, tell who it is and what they are going to play or sing. We will put that up on our website Saturday night at 7:30 when I would have been walking on stage to start the concert. And then we will leave that up for a while on our website for people to watch on demand.”
Allman says the J.S.O. Put on a similar virtual production in May of this year as a fundraiser to help support the symphony.
Allman says the 2020 winner of the Talent Among Us competition will be featured Saturday, who has still not yet had the opportunity to perform in a J.S.O. Production.
“Miruna Eynon is our grand prize winner from last spring, and originally she was going to play on our March concert but that got canceled. And she was going to play on our first concert, this concert Saturday she was going to play on, and I said to her well, don’t hold your breath. So now she is scheduled for our March concert this season, knock on wood. In the meantime she has sent a video of her performing a piece on cello with her mother actually on piano, and that will be her contribution.”
Other past winners who are contributing to the Connecting Our Memories virtual presentation this weekend include, Jeremy Hommowun who won in 2014 and is currently the Executive Director of the Jacksonville Symphony Society, as well as the winner of the first Talent Among Us competition Clayton Penrose-Whitmore who won in 2003.
The concert is free to attend Saturday night at 7:30pm, on the Jacksonville Symphony Society website at www.jaxsym-il.org
Allman says the J.S.O. Has a full season planned for the year, and if due to COVID-19 restrictions they are not able to host full in-person performances, they will hold something virtually in it’s place.