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IF Symphony cancels concert due to COVID surge

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The following is a news release from Idaho Fall Symphony.

After months of planning and the growing anticipation of the Idaho Falls community, the Idaho Falls Symphony regrets to announce the cancelation of its upcoming “Symphony in the Park” concert that had been scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 18. The Board of Directors met on Thurs., Sept. 16 and voted unanimously to cancel the concert based on the recent state-wide declaration of Crisis Standards of Care and the dire circumstances facing hospitals and health care workers amid the current surge of COVID-19 hospitalizations.

“We are heartbroken to cancel yet another concert because of the pandemic,” remarks Music Director Thomas Heuser. “After nearly 20 months of dealing with the effects of the virus on the performing arts, this is only the latest blow, but it comes at a time when we thought things would have improved. We are extremely disappointed, but continue to believe that gathering audiences must be done safely.”

The Symphony mandated Covid vaccines and regular testing for its musicians and staff just a few weeks ago. Even though the Symphony in the Park event is held outdoors, the Symphony determined that the risks of gathering the community were too high. Now the organization is grappling with how to welcome audiences safely back indoors for the regular season of concerts at the Idaho Falls Civic Center for the Performing Arts, which recently announced that it could only admit 50% capacity according to local health guidelines. Masks plus proof of vaccination are being considered as part of the reopening process for the Symphony’s 72nd season. Live-streaming of most subscription concerts has been planned, so regardless of the future policies for in-person audiences, the community should still be able to enjoy productions by the Symphony.

Executive Director Alekzandria Peugh has been guiding the organization through these tumultuous times, and has been producing the Symphony’s online offerings during the pandemic. “We have learned a lot about Live-streaming,” remarks Peugh, “and thanks to a grant through the CARES Act and the City of Idaho Falls, we will be acquiring equipment that will allow us to continue to develop our ability to stream concerts safely into the homes of our loyal patrons. We want to keep the orchestra together, and we want to keep making music, but we absolutely must do so as safely as possible.”

Audiences are encouraged to visit www.ifsymphony.org and sign up for regular email newsletters to stay informed of the latest updates.

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