WWU’s Symphonic Life in the Times of COVID

A person in formal attire focuses holds one hand out with a focused gaze in that direction, and the other hand holds a conductor's wand

Photo by Margaret Bikman

Like all performing arts groups, Western Washington University’s music department has adapted to the current pandemic. 

Western Symphony Orchestra presents five to six programs a year, including traditional concerts, educational programs, and an annual concerto competition concert featuring student soloists, performing pieces from the Baroque to contemporary works. 

The Western String Sinfonia gives quarterly concerts of classic and contemporary works for string orchestra, with a focus on developing fundamental skills and ensemble technique. The String Sinfonia regularly joins forces with the Western Symphony Orchestra in the performance of large-scale orchestral works.

For now, concerts will be livestreamed.

Authored on

Nov 12, 2020 4:30pm

Faculty and staff at WWU worked tirelessly all summer to ensure that we could bring the musicians back to campus to play in the hall safely. These are difficult times, but I’m very optimistic for our future because we have an excellent team at the university working as hard as they can.

Patrick Roulet
Chair, Western's Department of Music

In the virtual all-student meeting before the school started, many students expressed that COVID brought them some form of depression and stress in life that they’d never felt before ... But during the first rehearsal, that pleasure one gets from making music with a group, was so therapeutic that the heart-warming vibe immediately filled the hall. ...The sense of pride and fulfillment from the musicians at the end of the concert, and the audience’s hearts being touched or excited by the performance, are the reasons why I do what I do.

Yuchi Chou
Interim Director of Orchestral Studies