While the status of today’s world is ever-changing, there are many things that we are called to hold onto to ensure and maintain some semblance of normalcy. Through this separation, staying connected is of the upmost importance and what better way to not only stay connected but rediscover a true pleasure of life than through music?
Whether for a special occasion, such as a birthday, graduation, anniversary, Father’s Day, etc., or simply to “break up the monotony of isolation,” as expressed by Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra Executive Director Holly Arnold, look no further than BSO’s socially distanced performances, also known as their “mini-concerts,” customizable performances designed to meet the specifications of both the individual and the occasion, with the option to choose the number of musicians, time frame and specific music, be it classic, contemporary, jazz, music for kids and even movie themes.
“The mini-concerts have allowed us to grow our audience by reaching members of the community who weren’t aware that Bakersfield has its own symphony orchestra,” Arnold said. “We are building relationships between the attendees at our mini-concerts and our musicians.”
The socially distanced performances began just before Mother’s Day and received widespread attention, from posts on social media to moving phone calls in which many individuals have expressed being “touched by the experience.” With a powerful ability to bond a community through their emotional shared experiences, it is no surprise that Arnold feels the performances will continue to grow even after the quarantine restrictions have been lifted.
“Our musicians love to play, and for them to be able to see how their music impacts people, from sheer pleasure and joy to tears of emotion, it’s been a really great project and I believe it will continue to grow and morph as restrictions lift,” she said.
Health and safety remain a priority during the performances. Arnold said the musicians “are careful to follow social-distancing protocol, for everyone’s safety, including calling and texting instead of ringing doorbells and knocking on doors.” Performances generally take place in front yards, which has allowed neighbors to venture out and enjoy the music as well.
While there is no maximum number of individuals allowed to be present, it is of great importance that all who attend follow the proper social-distancing guidelines.
Mini-concert performances are to be booked at least three business days in advance, with prices starting at $35 for a single musician. Forms to book a performance can be found at www.bsonow.org or email email@example.com for more information.
As Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra has shown, music can uplift and unit a community even during a challenging time. And though the concerts may be mini, the experiences are grand. ￼