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Live music returns to the School of Music

13 October 2020

Cardiff University Symphony Orchestra in a socially distanced rehearsal

The Symphony Orchestra returned to the School of Music this weekend for two days of intensive rehearsals.

This moment marked the happy return of live music to the building and the beginning of the new academic year.

Over two days, the orchestra rehearsed Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 2 in C minor and Nielsen’s Helios Overture. The product of months of planning, it wasn’t rehearsal as normal. The two metres or more between all the players was only the most evident of the many safety procedures put in place.

Mark Eager, conductor of the orchestra, said: “Finally, a joyful weekend making wonderful music at Cardiff University, although in our new slightly odd socially distanced setup. Both staff and students were inspiringly optimistic and positive.”

Dr Keith Chapin, Director of Performance, was enthusiastic. “Coming at a time when live music-making has ground to a halt on so many fronts, it was quite an emotional experience to hear the students playing. It reminds one how important live music is for everyone, whether amateur or professional, student or otherwise.

“And while I wouldn’t want rehearsals like this to become the norm, it was fantastic to see how well students adapted to the situation. By listening closely and keenly, they overcame the distance between them, interacting with each other and joining together to produce a harmonious whole. Skills for music and for life! What more could one want from a rehearsal?”

The Symphony Orchestra rehearsal weekend is the first of a series of such events. The coming months will feature rehearsal weekends for other School of Music ensembles, including Chamber Choir and Symphony Chorus, Jazz Ensemble, Lanyi West-African Ensemble, Symphonic Winds, Nogo Abang Gamelan Ensemble, and Chamber Orchestra. In addition, the many student-led ensembles in the School of Music will also begin rehearsals. We are pleased that the vibrant musical life of the School of Music can continue.

See the orchestra in action.

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We run a number of groups within the School from the symphony orchestra and choir to African and Indonesian ensembles.