After more than a year, Bass Hall has been filled with the sounds of music once again. The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra will perform there this weekend for the first time since March 2020.
Since the pandemic, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra has been performing and practicing at the Will Rogers Coliseum. At the coliseum, the group social distanced with audience sizes set to limited capacity.
“Players now will be shoulder to shoulder like they normally would be,” Keith Cerny, the president and CEO of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, shared with fans. “Back in March 2020, Tarrant County closed Bass Hall, and that’s the last time we’ve been able to rehearse or perform here,” Cerny said.
The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra returned on Sept. 17 to the hall to perform for an excited audience. Unlike some organizations, the group did manage to keep afloat during the pandemic, with no layoffs reported. They even managed to perform at different venues.
While performing at alternative locations, the performers had some difficulty hearing one another due to the vinyl dividers that separated them as a coronavirus precaution. Wearing masks was also a challenge that the orchestra took on to continue to share their music.
“Everyone’s just happy to be back,” said violinist Ray Chen. “It’s like a celebration. There were no live shows, and you’re just sitting around wondering what you’re going to do? I usually play 100 concerts a year, so it was nice to sit back, but after that, you start wondering what you’re going to do.”
Their return to Bass Hall didn’t come without challenges, though. Overseas performers have had trouble coming to the United States to perform. After an immense amount of work, the orchestra’s administration was able to get permission for conductor Kevin John Edusei to travel from Germany and take part in opening night.
“I’m very thankful that the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra’s administration did all the hoop-jumping that was necessary to get me from Germany here to Fort Worth, Texas,” Edusei said.