FOR RELEASE SEPT. 3, 2020: Venice, FL – For 47 years The Venice Symphony’s mission has been to share the power, inspiration, and joy of live symphonic music with our community. However, in concern for the health and safety of our patrons, musicians, staff and guest artists and other factors related to COVID-19, The Venice Symphony Board of Trustees has made the difficult decision to postpone the November 2020 to April 2021 concert season to 2021-22. Songs From the Stage and Screen with Linda Eder and Patriotic Pops at CoolToday Park are scheduled to take place in May 2021. 2020-21 Season Sponsors are Gulf Coast Community Foundation and Sarasota County Tourist Development tax revenues.
“We know that this is a disappointment to our musicians, staff, the community and especially our dedicated patrons, many of whom have been attending our Symphony for decades. As this crisis has continued, we ultimately realized it would not be possible to guarantee the health and safety of our patrons, musicians, staff and volunteers, and present the exciting concert experience Maestro Quinn had planned and our audience deserves,” said Christine Kasten, President/CEO of The Venice Symphony. “Our venue, The Venice Performing Arts Center, is on the campus of Venice High School, and as of this date no decision has been made regarding the ability for The Venice Symphony and other arts organizations to utilize the facility.”
The Venice Symphony also participated in an in-depth survey of VPAC patrons conducted by the Venice Institute of Performing Arts which found that the majority of respondents were hesitant about returning to the hall until a COVID-19 vaccine was available, data that backs up surveys conducted throughout the industry.
Making this decision at this time has allowed The Venice Symphony to retain this season’s scheduled renowned guest artists for next season. Patrons who have subscribed to the 2020-21 season will have the opportunity to retain their seats for 2021-22, request a refund or to donate their ticket purchase back to the Symphony. Individual tickets are not available for purchase at this time.
Meanwhile, The Venice Symphony will stay true to its commitment to present quality symphonic music and stay connected to our community. Music Director/Conductor Troy Quinn has announced a “reimagined season” of virtual concerts including “The Venice Symphony at Home for the Holidays.” This series will premiere in November 2020 and will be offered at no charge to all, with enhanced virtual experiences provided to Symphony subscribers Said Quinn, “I am excited to work with our Venice Symphony musicians in a safe setting where we can share music with a greater and more diverse audience. These intimate concerts put you right in front of the action and give listeners the opportunity to hear and see the musicians play thrilling works from Copland and Strauss to “West Side Story” and “The Night Before Christmas.”
The Venice Symphony will also continue to present its free online Meet the Musicians and Behind the Baton video series. Those series and the summer-long Education Spotlight series are available on The Venice Symphony’s YouTube channels and at the thevenicesymphony.org.
Symphony administration and the Board remain hopeful that the current crisis will improve to where The Venice Symphony can present chamber group and smaller performances safely in venues in Sarasota County. The Venice Symphony Youth Orchestra will continue its socially-distanced outdoor rehearsals, and also hopes to perform in concert for the community.
“We know that our patrons are committed to The Venice Symphony’s mission of keeping symphonic music alive and thriving in Sarasota County,” said Debbi Benedict, Chair of the Board of Trustees. “We believe that by providing Maestro Quinn’s innovative virtual concerts with free access from anywhere, more people will discover what an outstanding orchestra we have right here in Venice.”