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Alexandria Symphony Orchestra returns to non-restricted performing at City birthday on July 10

The Alexandria Symphony Orchestra will officially return to in-person performances with an hour-long program at Alexandria’s 272nd birthday celebration on Saturday, July 10, on the waterfront.

“We’re really excited to be there for the community,” Melinda Kernc, ASOs director of development and marketing, confirmed to ALXnow. “We did what we could during COVID, and now to meet in person is really exciting.”

The program on July 10 has been shortened to an hour (it’s usually an hour-and-a-half), and to discourage crowds there also won’t be cannon fire punctuating the symphony’s rendition of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture during the fireworks. Last year’s event, which usually attracts tens of thousands of visitors to Old Town, was held virtually.

ASO will also return for their first full season of shows starting the first weekend in October with Beethoven’s 9th Symphony at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center at Northern Virginia Community College.

The symphony will release their upcoming show schedule in the next couple of weeks, Kernc said.

There will be five separate shows between October and April, and performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. at NOVA on Saturday nights and 3 p.m. the following day  the next day at George Washington National Masonic Memorial.

“We are planning for the first half of our season, which goes through December,” Kernc said. “We’re not going to have intermissions in order to keep people from congregating. Other than that, we’re planning to have full capacity in the Hall.”

The pandemic forced ASO to adapt, and musicians ended up playing virtual events, as well as more than a dozen at socially distant musical venues at The Rectory in Old Town and senior living facilities.

“We’ll continue to do community events when we can,” Kernc said. “We’ll also continue to do some kind of virtual event maybe once a year where we actually can put our concerts out, because we reached over 2,000 people with our Christmas performance, and that’s a bigger audience than our largest venue.”

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