Tour across Quebec: Symphonic Balconies – Collective Memory
The Orchestre symphonique de Longueuil was the initiator of a great movement. Indeed, we were wondering how we could contribute to the well-being of our community, especially older people who were more directly affected by the pandemic. We felt that while respecting physical distancing and other Public Health measures, it was our job to make the effort to reach out to the public and not the other way around. Alexandre and the Orchestra’s first chairs made this effort concrete on Easter Day by offering an unusual concert BELOW THE BALCONIES at a seniors’ residence in Longueuil. Thus, we managed to reach a confined and isolated audience. This impromptu concert also drew rave reviews, both from professionals in the media and the general public. Music is also a form of medicine for many people. It is ESSENTIAL. When we offer our concerts to the balconies, it is illuminated and completely transformed faces that we see. We have visited about fifty residences since the beginning of the pandemic.
The concept is simple: the Symphonic Balconies – Collective Memory initiative offers concerts of small groups of six musicians in which the Orchestra’s appointed conductor, Alexandre Da Costa, leads with his bow while playing on his 1701 Stradivarius. Strings, brass and woodwinds are alternately featured at each concert. Performances of 45 minutes have been presented in about twenty cities in Quebec: Quebec City, Charlevoix region, Joliette, Boucherville, Beauharnois, Terrebonne, Mont-Tremblant, Shawinigan, Trois-Rivières, Gatineau, Montreal and many others.
The decision to orchestrate songs and works that have left their mark on Quebec is not insignificant. Among other things, the musical vision of the tour serves to remind Quebecers that classical music is well alive and focused on the future. It is therefore through the music of great authors and composers from Quebec and the French-speaking world, who in recent decades have helped the province to emancipate itself and become a unique and remarkable cultural pool, that this tour will be presented. In a collective effort, the performances will be deployed in front of balconies of Quebec residences in compliance with government standards and in agreement with local police services.