The Modesto Symphony Orchestra Association (MSOA) announces the cancellation of all concerts through March 2021 due to COVID-19. These cancellations are in accordance with Stanislaus County and statewide guidelines stating that large gatherings and live concert performances will not be permitted until the final stage of the reopening process. The MSOA will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation and also look for other opportunities, venues, and scenarios for the community while keeping audiences, musicians, and staff safe.
Like most cultural organizations across the country, the MSOA has not been immune to the financial repercussions due to COVID-19. In light of these concert cancellations, the MSOA has made some cost-saving measures that include the furlough of musicians and restructuring of staff and duties. This resulted in the elimination of one full-time position, reductions in hours and compensation for three part-time staff and two full-time staff members including the CEO who has taken a salary reduction.
This year also marks the MSOA’s 90th Season and would have introduced five Music Director finalists. Due to the pandemic and the cancellations, the finalist’s concerts have been rescheduled to the 2021-22 Season. The Music Director finalists remain enthusiastic about their debuts in Modesto.
“We are deeply disappointed to not be able to present our five Music Director candidates in our 90th Season and the impact this has on all of our musicians but know this action is necessary in order to ensure the health and safety of our orchestra, chorus, staff, and audiences,” said MSOA Board Chair Kent Johnson. “In accordance with statewide guidelines, and the closure of the Gallo Center for the Arts, we have cancelled all performances through March 2021. We remain optimistic as we reimagine this season and are excited to offer virtual events where we can stay connected as a community.”
The MSOA Board of Directors remains focused on long term viability while continuing to fulfill its mission of enriching lives through music and music education. Part of the reimagination of the 2020-21 Season will include free virtual events once a month to stay connected with the community. The events will feature MSO musicians and guest artists in recital, as well as the Modesto Symphony Youth Orchestra. The MSOA is able to provide existing programs and new events while fulfilling its mission, in part due to the generosity of the Symphony’s dedicated supporters.
The Modesto Symphony Youth Orchestra (MSYO) will continue to meet and have virtual rehearsals and concerts until it is safe to resume in-person. Over 60 audition videos have already been received for the upcoming 2020-21 MSYO Season. Additionally, the MSOA continues to work with area schools and offer support for music education including engaging MSO musicians to perform and provide demonstrations. However, the Modesto Symphony Orchestra Chorus and Youth Chorus are suspended until it is safe to meet and sing together in-person.
Information about the MSOA’s virtual events, education programs, and how to receive monthly e-newsletters can be found at ModestoSymphony.org.
The Modesto Symphony Orchestra (MSO) was founded in 1931 and worked with local leaders to establish a musical and cultural focal point. The MSO subsequently grew to serve the greater region and now includes the Modesto Symphony Youth Orchestra, Modesto Symphony Orchestra Chorus, and the Modesto Symphony Youth Chorus. Today, the MSOA continues to strive to enrich and enhance the community by bringing music of the highest artistic caliber and fostering lifelong music education and appreciation. Each season, the MSO performs five Classics concerts and three Pops concerts and produces two community favorites, Picnic at the Pops and the Holiday Candlelight Concert. Through its education and outreach programs, the MSOA is able to reach over 15,000 students each year by working closely with local schools and providing free or low-cost opportunities to experience classical music.
The Modesto Symphony Orchestra is a resident company of the Gallo Center for the Arts.