LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Louisville Orchestra is back Saturday night for its first big performance of the season since the coronavirus arrived in Kentucky.
When the pandemic hit in March, the orchestra canceled performances.
"This is the kick in the butt that our industry has needed for a long, long time," said Teddy Abrams, the orchestra's music director. "If you want to be relevant and vital and you actually want to make a difference in your community, then you need to change and grow."
Abrams spent this down time at his home, reevaluating what the orchestra could do amid the uncertainty.
"We said, 'Let's face this head on, do a 360 evaluation of what this can mean for us, and let's jump at the opportunity to change things,'" he said.
Despite no ticket sales and a limited revenue stream, the Louisville Orchestra came up with three values: health, education equality and access to eliminate barriers.
"Everything we do this year filters through these three values," Abrams said.
For instance, Abrams started offering free, private 15-minute concerts from his home by Facebook appointment.
"People's mental health, their anxiety levels, are astronomical, and I thought, 'OK, I've got to do something,'" he said.
The orchestra will perform together with safety precautions Saturday night at Old Forester's Paristown Hall, for audiences to stream live at home.
"It's a dedication to our values, it's a dedication to heroism, it's a dedication to the things we've experienced in our city," Abrams said.
The Louisville Orchestra Virtual Edition or, LOVE, will feature artist Davóne Tines, who Abrams said had written a piece of music in honor and memory of Breonna Taylor.
Saturday will be the first of four virtual performances, which will run through November for a minimal cost.
"I've never been more convinced that what we have to offer is a very very important part of how this city is going to connect, unite and grow," Abrams said. "So, for me personally, this moment here to actually make music and actually share it with our city, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
Ninety minutes of entertainment will give listeners and musicians alike some encouragement.
"This is our time to make a difference, and we're going to do that for you," Abrams said. "We're going to give hope; we're going to give healing and we're going to give a sense that we are a united city, that we can find our way through this very challenging time."
The first performance is 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
Click here for streaming details and more show dates. One concert costs $30 or it's $99 for all four.
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