St. Louis Symphony Orchestra performs for first time in months

ST. LOUIS – Friday night there was an overwhelming sense of joy at Powell Hall. The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra (SLSO) performed there for the first time in about five months.

COVID-19 silenced the music that filled the place again.

Shortly before the performance, SLSO Music Director Stephane Deneve said: “I’m so impatient to finally see our audience again, to feel it behind my back when I make music.”

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Kelly Aitch said she loved the symphony: “Super exciting, I have season tickets every year. It’s great to be back here. “

Jackie Heitland said, “I missed it, yes I did.”

Powell can accommodate nearly 2,700 people. They were allowed to enter 700 people on Friday evening, but they attended an even smaller number.

“Just because we are returning slowly and gently this month, we were limited to three hundred,” said SLSO President and CEP Marie-Helene Bernard.

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They have taken many precautionary measures including non-contact ticketing, social distancing, everyone must wear a mask, the entire hall has been cleaned thoroughly and the bars are closed.

“We are holding back food and drink sales for the time being to minimize contact and the likelihood of infection,” said Bernard.

Symphony fan John Waide said, “I think it’s probably a good idea to be a little careful.” His wife Carol added, “After the second vaccination over two weeks ago, we wanted to celebrate … we thought this was a great place to celebrate tonight.”

Denve said the members of the orchestra are just as excited as their fans.

“Everyone is just happy because they like to perform,” she said.

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