Idaho Falls Symphony eager to reconnect with audience for 2021-22 season
IDAHO FALLS — The Idaho Falls Symphony hasn’t played in front of a live, in-person audience in over a year and a half. But that musical drought will soon come to an end.
The symphony recently announced it will be returning to full, in-person shows for its 2021-22 season, which opens with a free outdoor performance for the community at the Freeman Park Band Shell on Sept. 18.
The theme for this season is “Reconnect,” which is something the group is very excited to do with live audiences according to I.F. Symphony Music Director Thomas Heuser.
“Obviously after the pandemic, that’s what everybody wants to do is get back in the concert hall and reconnect with the symphony,” Heuser said. “So, that’s the big theme.”
Heuser believes this season’s shows will offer symphony fans of all stripes something to love.
“Our concerts during the subscription season are all designed to be appealing for first-time audiences and experienced audiences alike,” he said. “From October through April we have six subscription concerts planned, each of them very different with a diverse selection of music from start to finish. There’s really something for everyone, in my opinion.”
While the symphony live-streamed shows for the public when the pandemic made in-person performances impossible, Heuser said there’s a big difference between playing for cameras and playing for a real, live audience.
“The excitement has been building for this return to live and in-person audiences all year,” he said. “We did manage to stay connected with our musicians and audience last year. We moved our entire season online, we sold virtual tickets and had a lot of concert offerings, almost thirty concert offerings online. But it just doesn’t really compare to the in-person way of doing things, so there’s a lot of pent-up, built-up excitement and we’re hoping to capitalize on that with big audiences and a lot of energy from our musicians.”
“There is that sense when the orchestra is playing for a live audience that it’s being received, that the audience is engaged with the process,” he added. “You really feel like you’re playing for them and you feed off that. So last year when we were virtual, it was really hard to get that same kind of motivation without those live audiences.”
The Idaho Falls Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Preparatory String Orchestra are also restarting in-person rehearsals and concerts. These groups will be performing free concerts once each semester. Auditions for these groups will be held Sept. 9 to 11.
“We’re just thrilled to have the opportunity to gather the students once again in the Youth Orchestra,” Heuser said. “They are our pride and joy but they too were not able to meet last year, so just the idea of them getting back together and making music is something we’re highlighting this year and just thrilled to announce.”
The Idaho Falls Symphony kicks off its 2021-22 “Reconnect” season with their free community “Audience Favorites” concert on Sept. 18 at the Freeman Park Band Shell at 5:30 pm. Tickets for subscription shows are available at the I.F. Symphony website and can be purchased for in-person or virtual attendance. Visit the website for more information.