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York Symphony Orchestra returns to live performances with summer concert series

Tina Locurto
York Dispatch
York Symphony Orchestra Executive Director Michael Reichman is photographed at the Appell Center for the Performing Arts in York City, Thursday, June 24, 2021. Dawn J. Sagert photo

After 15 months, the York Symphony Orchestra is finally returning to the live stage, ready for an audience to come and listen.

The orchestra performed livestreams and pre-recorded pieces during COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, but now a group of 40 musicians will return for a series of live concerts at the York Expo Center.

The Open Air Summer Series will feature three concerts — each with a particular music theme — in June, August and September to ease audiences back into attending live shows, said Michael Reichman, the executive director of the York Symphony Orchestra.

"We are very excited to be presenting in front of a live audience," Reichman said. "We thought that would be a good transition, and also a great way to take advantage of the beautiful summer weather."

The first of three shows is Saturday, followed by performances on Aug. 28 and Sept. 18. Each show starts at 6 p.m.

Saturday's show will follow the theme of Pennsylvania Dutch music. In August, musicians will perform pieces by Felix Mendelssohn and Samuel Barber in a concert titled "Summer Night's Dream."

And, in September, the final summer concert will feature a sampling of the orchestra's upcoming fall 2021 season at the Strand Theatre.

York Symphony Orchestra

Tickets to each concert can be purchased by visiting https://www.yorksymphony.org/.

"What we're really trying to do with these open air concerts is get people excited for our in-person concerts at the Strand Theatre," Reichman said.

The York Symphony Orchestra spent six months seeking the right venue to launch its outdoor concert series — requiring solid ground above and below to accommodate the musicians and their instruments.

Finally, officials settled on the York Expo Center, Reichman said, for the location's reliability as a solid, open-air theater.

"We're very excited to get music back together and create that energy on stage and being able to perform for a large group of people and to hear that live applause — it's an experience that is hard to recreate digitally," he said. "It reminds us of why we're in this business."

— Reach Tina Locurto at tlocurto@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.