We are a series of tiered orchestras ranging from beginners to pre-college level musicians. Here at ISO, we pioneer forward-thinking teaching methods coupled with classic technical foundations. Providing a student experience which is unmatched, we are delivering ensemble-based learning during the COVID-pandemic.
Despite the challenges of the spring 2020 season, we accomplished a ground-breaking virtual performance, Playing For Hope, complete with collaborations between students and world-renowned musicians, giving our students an unparalleled musical experience. ISO players continued to learn through virtual rehearsals/sectionals, online master classes, and cutting-edge recording software. We were proud that the performance donations supported not only ISO scholarships but were shared with Food Bank For New York City. “Care Packages” of student performances were dedicated to New York City’s essential workers and included a world premiere of a piece commissioned by the incredible musician and composer Earl McIntyre.
We move forward for our fall 2020 season with improvements in the online learning we developed this spring that will likely need to continue partially or completely virtually. We realized that, as our world and lifestyles have changed this year, the future of music performance and practice will inevitably have a virtual component. To adapt, ISO has formulated our curriculum around real world situations that will give our students the ability to thrive in whatever form they pursue their musical endeavors.
We are monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely, and with guidance from local authorities and the governor’s office, we will continue to keep ISO’s state of learning fluid. As always, our primary goal is to teach music in a safe and collaborative manner while maintaining an authentic rehearsal/ensemble experience. We look forward to having our players join us in this new adventure. Further plans for ISO’s reopening in September will be released as soon as more information becomes available.
Barry Stern and Page Silverman-Primm
Acting Co-Executive Directors and
Conductors of the ISO Symphony and Concert Orchestras