The Symphony of Southeast Texas is committed to the health and safety of everyone who attends our performances, our musicians, staff, volunteers and the community at large. Today, our community is learning a different means of communicating and living. For musicians, this is not often easy as our work and play is done with others. We thought it would be helpful for you, our community, our audience, to know what’s going on among the musicians and your SOST.
Our talented musicians live to play for others, practice, rehearse together, and ultimately perform concerts. With the current restrictions on social interactions, there seems to be much more time for their individual practicing. Unfortunately, the concerts we were scheduled to play had to be either postponed or cancelled, which challenges their livelihood. For example, our Youth Education Concerts had to be cancelled due to no school and the restrictions of not playing for any audience. Thanks to the generous donations from individuals and foundations, we will continue to pay our musicians for that cancelled concert to help them pay their monthly bills. In addition, some of our members are using their creativity and videotaping demonstrations of their instruments. Soon they will be sent to parents through BISD’s teaching network and will also be posted on social media. Our conductor, Maestro Tipton, is also preparing a video about the concert he had planned to give to over 3,000 students, just in a different format.
We remain hopeful that the Coronavirus will subside and disappear so that life as we know it might resume. While we had to cancel our Youth Concerts, we only “postponed” our previously scheduled April 4th concert. The new date for that concert will be June 27th, in the Jefferson Theatre. (Our friends in the City’s Events Facility department have worked very hard to reschedule the numerous events and concerts. Please accept our apology for this change, yet current tickets will be accepted in a modified seating plan at the Jefferson Theatre, and new seating is available on our website. Also, we look forward to taking part of the City of Beaumont’s 4th of July Celebration Concert with festivities outdoors at the Event Centre for an evening of music and fireworks.
Lastly, please keep the family of Michael Westbrook in your thoughts and prayers. Our beloved colleague of 30 years died suddenly from the Coronavirus late last week. An outstanding musician, teacher and community member, Mike will be missed by all of us at SOST, his students, colleagues, and a diversity of audiences he entertained throughout Southeast Texas.
So, while the music isn’t playing, have patience and faith! Good things come to those who wait, and your SOST will anxiously await your presence in our audience.
The Symphony of Southeast Texas, completing its 67th season, is a regional, professional orchestra based in Beaumont, Texas. The Symphony performs a number of subscription concerts, educational programs and other concerts throughout Southeast Texas each year. SOST’s home base is the Julie Rogers Theatre in downtown Beaumont. The orchestra is composed of local musicians from the Beaumont vicinity, as well as many musicians from the Houston and Lake Charles areas.