Grand Rapids Symphony finds a unique way to perform, while staying safe at home

Posted at 9:20 PM, Apr 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-12 22:41:18-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Across the nation, live shows, plays and concerts have been canceled, as the arts community feels the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

“On March 12th we made our first announcement that would be canceling concerts through the end of April and then we canceled up to May 10th now,” Grand Rapids Symphony Vice President and GM Aaron Doty said.

The Grand Rapids Symphony has canceled their upcoming performances, fortunately in the meantime, they are still able to pay staff and musicians.

“Taking us out of the hall has been, obviously, a challenge for us,” Doty said.

Though from that challenge has come something beautiful, inspired by a generous donor, they are adopting a new way to stay home, stay safe, and share their music.

The “From our Home to Yours” series, gives viewers an intimate concert every day at 9:00 a.m.

“It's a different member of our orchestra, or chorus, or our youth use symphony or the youth chorus participating in a solo performance of music and it's been really well received,” Doty explained.

“We're so proud of our orchestra and our musicians for their participation. We expected you know a good representation, but it was absolutely overwhelming how many people wanted to participate,” he added.

Though it didn’t stop there, an even more ambitious performance awaited.

“It started with our music director Marcelo Lehninger, who came up with the idea for the house, using the hallelujah chorus. We've seen a couple of other orchestras create similar videos, but he is such an inspirational person and wanted to dream big and involve both the orchestra and parts of our chorus to create a big, big piece that had a unified message of hope during this season.

It’s called “Hallelujah for Hope.”

More than 70 musicians from the GR Symphony Orchestra and Chorus playing in unison online.

Since it’s posting on Thursday, it’s been viewed more than 100,000 times.

“At the beginning of this piece we talk a little bit about how music, more than ever, and more in people's lives,” Doty said.

“People need something that gives them comfort that gives them solace that gives them inspiration. And so we're just very, very proud and honored to be a part of this community and we're very excited to be able to give this gift back to our community and beyond,” he added.

To check out their virtual performances, click here.