ORONO, Maine — Sunday afternoon, the Bangor Symphony Orchestra held its first in-person concert in almost two years.
Audience members were able to enjoy the classic music at the Collins Center for the Arts at the University of Maine in Orono.
The 74 member symphony made its debut to audience members who were fully vaccinated or showed proof of a negative PCR COVID-19 test.
The musicians say sitting back on the stage together with an audience was what many of them have been looking forward to.
"Finding a way to continue practicing was really really hard, and again being around other musicians makes you better, it wants you to feel like oh you gotta level up to be respectful, to earn their time and their trust, and when you don't have that it can be pretty hard to motivate yourself," said musician William Davis, who plays the viola.
In order to attend an in-person concert, people have to:
Provide proof that they are fully vaccinated with an FDA approved COVID-19 vaccine;
Provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test conducted within 72 hours of the performance start time or a negative COVID-19 rapid (antigen) test within 12 hours of the performance start time. This includes children under 12 who are not yet eligible to be vaccinated.
Present valid ID alongside above proof of vaccination or negative test.
Wear masks at all times when inside the Collins Center for the Arts.
Ticket holders can also view the concert online starting October 12th.
"We did a show last year and it was a very different feeling to finish and not have anybody clap," said Davis. "A lot of us didn't get the chance to play with anyone during the pandemic, and that's a pretty lonely feeling, it's really hard to get yourself going."
Musicians from the Bangor Symphony Orchestra are kicking off its 126th season. Executive director Brian Hinrichs says music has the power to tap into emotions that we are not normally in tune with.
"Bringing an audience back is bringing that sense of community back," expressed Hinrichs.
"The break, 20 months without being in front of an audience was really hard, it was sad. It was depressing at times, and I'm a performer, it's what I do. It's what I love to do and it was just building up to this moment, knowing we were going to have an audience, and that we were all going to be on stage at the same time, was just amazing!" said musician Anita Jerosch, who plays bass trombone.
Here are the dates and times for the Bangor Symphony Orchestra's new season that kicked off on Sunday. Those performances will all be held at the Collins Center for the Arts in Orono.