Musicians of the Regina Symphony Orchestra in Saskatchewan, Canada. Photo by Chris Graham.

“In March, the Regina Symphony Orchestra’s music director told CBC News that audiences at concerts had been much smaller than they were pre-pandemic—so much so that the orchestra had to cancel three of its April shows,” reports Laura Sciarpelletti in last Thursday’s (4/27) CBC (Canada). “Musical Director Gordon Gerrard said the cancellations would allow the RSO to mitigate some of the financial risk that it is feeling ‘very acutely.’ As the RSO plans out its next season and looks at how to return its attendance to pre-pandemic levels, orchestra members are reflecting on their love for Regina and why orchestras are so instrumental in their community. Jeff Looysen has been a violinist with the RSO for nearly 30 years … Looysen’s involvement with music is not limited to the symphony. He is also a music teacher at Scott Collegiate in Regina’s north central neighborhood … [and] had what he calls an ‘amazing’ opportunity to build a program at Scott Collegiate that did not exist before…. Looysen is just one example of how orchestra members across Canada are not just classical musicians, but also actively work to foster musical literacy and excellence within their communities.”