Unable to perform on the concert stage for the past several months, Symphony New Hampshire will be taking its performance outside this fall with a free concert at Nashua’s Greeley Park.
“Even though concerts are not happening right now, we are still here and working hard,” said Renee Hagelberg, marketing manager and personnel manager for Symphony NH. “We are trying to be creative.”
Despite restrictions on fundraising efforts and auditorium use, Symphony NH is not giving up, she said.
Instead of performing with its typical 60-piece orchestra, Hagelberg said the upcoming season will instead be focused on ensemble groups and solos.
The group is currently planning the open-air concert for 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 2. The patriotic show will include uplifting Americana music with a brass and percussion focus, according to Hagelberg.
“I think we are all just really excited to finally be able to plan for a concert,” she said. “We are really looking forward to it.”
Roger Kalia will conduct the event, which is designed to celebrate the American Spirit and Symphony NH’s 97th season.
Its next concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 21 with limited seating at the Keefe Center for the Arts in Nashua, and will be the first in a series of chamber concerts.
“And we are hopeful that in December we will be able to do our Holiday Pops Concert in Manchester, Concord and Nashua. It won’t be our 60-piece orchestra, but probably 20 or 30 musicians,” said Hagelberg. “We are just trying to make our audiences safe and our musicians safe.”
While there are typically 10 to 12 concerts in the group’s seasonal concert series, this coming season there will be five, she said, stressing the importance of continuing to perform for the public during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is a little unsettling, but we are excited to finally have concerts planned and really have something to look forward to,” Hagelberg said.
The 2020 Friends of Symphony NH group is also committed to help raise money for the symphony and keep it thriving despite the pandemic. It has planned a tour of four private gardens in Nashua from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on July 19.
Carolyn Choate of Cheyenne Drive cares for one of the four gardens that will be featured during the fundraising event.
“This is the least I can do,” she said. “Gardeners live for the opportunity to share their work with others.”
The four gardens are at 9 Cheyenne Drive, 59 Cheyenne Drive, 11 Brackenwood Drive and 11 Governors Lane, and include a bonsai garden, Asian-inspired plantings, a lushly planted garden with uncommon perennials and a backyard oasis with a plunge pool and waterfall.
Cash donations are being suggested, with all proceeds benefiting the symphony.
“Since the pandemic, we have been able to get back to the earth, so to speak. The garden has taken my mind off everything and helped me detach from many issues,” said Choate.