Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra ready to welcome live audience with COVID-19 safety in mind

The opening of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra’s Symphonic Series is almost upon us. It's been a whirlwind year for performers with a recent twist that many didn't see coming.

The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra rehearses at Will Rogers Auditorium. It’s a quick crescendo in an effort to reunite the music with a live audience.

In early September, the orchestra’s usual performance home at Bass Hall in Fort Worth announced it will remain closed for the rest of the year in wake of COVID-19.

“We’ve added some plexiglass shields between different instrument sections,” said FWSO President Keith Cerny. “We have a wonderful and very experienced conductor Patrick Summers who has magic and extra magic to get the balance just right with all the safety precautions.”

The woodwind players near the rear of the stage are guarded with extra shielding and distance given they blow into their instruments.

In the meantime, they’re testing the acoustics from every section of the massive auditorium.

“You bring a family. They can seat a group of four together, for example. Then you’ve got to leave space for the next group,” explained Kevin Kemp with the city of Fort Worth. “It becomes a math equation for the ticket, seller but technically we can do 1,400 or so.”

The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra’s Symphonic Series opens this Friday.

“It just sounds awesome in this building,” Kemp said. “A little bit of the technology of today in the design and architecture of the 30s, it just sounds great in this building.”

Tickets are still available on the symphony's website.