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COVID & the Arts: A Live Concert

A new socially-distanced concert will be held Friday, August 7th at 7:30 p.m. at Galvin Fine Arts Center, St. Ambrose University, featuring Quad City Symphony concertmaster Naha Greenholtz and pianist Marian Lee.

Music lovers have the option of paying $25 to be one of just 50 in the 1,100-seat auditorium or to watch a live-stream online from the comfort of their home. With a multiple high-definition camera setup, livestream viewers will get an up-close view of these two musicians at work, unlike anything they could experience at a traditional concert. 

Lee is associate professor of music at Ambrose and said the chamber concert – part of the QCSO Signature Series -- was originally scheduled for March at Augustana College.

“Really the beauty of going livestream also is that there are people who maybe don’t live in the Quad-Cities and people who love the symphony and concerts, and have moved away, live elsewhere, but they can tune in.”

At Galvin, the concert is general admission, but attendees will be spread throughout the hall to ensure recommended social distancing. Entrance to the hall will be staggered to allow attendee groups to remain separated. Masks will be required for entry, while waiting for entry and exit, and to move about the common areas. They're not required but strongly recommended when audience members are in their seats. Disposable masks will be available for those who arrive without one. Tickets will not be sold at the door, and must be purchased in advance at qcso.org. 

Tickets will not be touched by the ticket scanners, and program booklets will only be available in a digital format. The program booklet will be available in advance online.

Given the nationwide protests over racial inequality, Lee wanted to perform a work by an African-American composer. The program includes a fantasy by Florence Price for violin and piano.

“She’s really the first African-American female composer to have her work performed by a major American orchestra. I had never even heard of her, so it’s astounding there are all these, not just her, but other African-American composers that I never was exposed to, both at school in my classes, or in music history books. It was really eye-opening, so I’m really glad I found her.”

Lee is glad to be back performing in front of an audience.

“I’m really grateful the Quad City Symphony has not given up in live performances. We’re staying within what our governor says we can do, and thankfully, to Galvin Fine Arts Center and St. Ambrose, we’re able to have people actually come into our space, for this live performance.”

“I’m really grateful we can have people come experience it live with it being safe. To me, it’s all about being safe and comfortable. I’m very grateful that we have this space to spread out, so that it’s even possible.” 

QCSO music director Mark Russell Smith will introduce each piece, a role he doesn’t usually do for the Signature Series.

“I think people miss him. So. he’ll be in town, it’ll be great.”

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.