If you have any friends or colleagues in the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO) I highly recommend you start following them closely on social media. The DSO is one of the handful of orchestras getting back into the hall for performance activity.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, musicians and staff have been posting firsthand accounts across social media of what that actually looks. The result is a fascinating glimpse into what sorts of precautions are being taken to keep artists and staff safe.
What’s especially heartening is the amount of collegial spirit that comes across. There’s a clear sense of common spirit and unity in the posts.
A few posts that caught my eye came from DSO principal tubist, Matt Good, who posted a picture of him emptying condensation into a spittoon the DSO purchased expressly for this purpose. Over his shoulder, you can see a sound shield being used to help marginalize droplet spread.
Thank you Jerry Hou for this photo. This is from our Thursday morning brass ensemble rehearsal. These spittoons were…
This shot provides a better view of how the shields are being used.
Speaking of the shields, they provide their own unique sets of challenges when it comes to artistic considerations. I reached out to Good asking about that and the overall feeling about being back in the hall.
“The shields did make ensemble more difficult but we felt very safe,” said Good. “Everyone got a daily Covid test starting 24-hours before the first day back and each following morning before rehearsal. Face masks, hand sanitizer and gloves were made available to everyone.”