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Music to their ears: DSSO prepares to welcome bigger crowds to Symphony Hall

Mar 18, 2021 06:05AM ● By Editor

Photo:  KBJR-TV

By Natalie Grant of KBJR-TV - March 17, 2021

After a year of playing to empty seats, Minnesota musicians are ready to meet their audience in person once again.  Thanks to relaxed covid restrictions, soon, they can.

That includes the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra. They've missed playing to live audiences.

"We tried to imagine we heard the virtual applause after a piece," said Brandon VanWaeyenberghe, Executive Director of DSSO.

The DSSO understands the importance of a live show.  Over the past year, they have worked to bring their performances to living rooms across the world, virtually.  Now, with loosened restrictions, they're ready to be back in person.

"We know that our audience is craving the return to live in-person experiences," said VanWaeyenberghe. "Being at a venue, seeing musicians live, and experiencing something that is one of a kind is extremely important and extremely lovely and beautiful."

VanWaeyenberghe said after April 1st, they can host almost 500 people.  That is compared to around 1,400 pre-COVID.

Although it's not back to normal, Music Director Dirk Meyer said any crowd plays a vital role in the experience.

"If you have no audience whatsoever, you don't have that interchange with your audience, and it's very difficult to sort of get the tension that you need and the adrenaline going that you need if there is nobody there," said Meyer.

VanWaeyenberghe is just thankful loyal audience members have kept the orchestra's head above water over the past year, letting them stay out of debt and keep playing through the pandemic. Supporters paid $10, and often gave more for the virtual concerts.

The DSSO also received COVID relief funding, which helped them stay afloat.

"We know that we will get through this, and we know that we will return to the stage in full force with our musicians and we can't wait for the audience to join us," said VanWaeyenberghe.

The DSSO's next show is Saturday at the DECC.  Tickets are available to watch them in-person or virtually.

For more information, click here.

To watch the video version of this story and see related reporting, follow this link to the KBJR-Tv website.

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