Although the pandemic has meant a prolonged disruption to public concerts, and our musicians are longing to get back to performing, the Sault Symphony Orchestra is happy to say that things are going well for the organization.
Earlier this year, thanks to funding from the City of Sault Ste. Marie, the SSO launched Seniors Connect. Through this program, SSO musicians connect virtually with residents of local retirement homes to help combat the impacts of ongoing isolation. The seniors who have taken part in the program to date have enjoyed hearing from our musicians and sharing their own musical memories. The musicians have found the visits equally rewarding.
Thanks to an Ontario Trillium Fund grant also received earlier this year, the Symphony has been able to hire a Director of Advancement, the first regular office staff member the organization has employed in several years. The Director of Advancement is working hard to improve the organization’s marketing, fundraising, and outreach efforts.
Other grant applications are in the works as well, including one that will allow the SSO to commission a new piece by a Canadian composer.
In optimistic anticipation of a return to in-person concerts in the coming months, the Symphony has recently announced plans for a 2021/2022 season, A Year of Music. The season will start with a virtual concert, Fall Colours, in October, followed by a family-friendly Winter Wonderland matinee. In February, Coming Home will spotlight our amazing local talent, and in April we’ll offer a Spring Fusion. Several Canadian members of the orchestra recently came together for our first rehearsal since March 2020 – the group was small, but sounded great.
Within this season, the Symphony is also planning a celebration recognizing our long-time artistic director, Dr. John Wilkinson. Dr. Wilkinson’s contributions to the SSO began more than 40 years ago, with him taking on the role of conductor in 1977. He has been instrumental in guiding the organization over the years, and the SSO is looking forward to recognizing him.
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