Return to the Concert Hall

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Nancy Lendrim is principal harp with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra.

After a long intermission, the once-familiar stage felt foreign for one orchestral harpist

—by Nancy Lendrim

It was a Saturday when Keith called, or at least I think it was a Saturday. In this pandemic a Saturday can, and often does, feel like a Tuesday, or really any other day. While I thought it a bit odd that Keith would be calling at all (he’s more of an email guy), I was delighted to hear from my friend, and manager of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra (TSO).  My delight at hearing his voice quickly gave way to surprise when I learned why he was calling—to find out how I would feel about performing in two weeks at the upcoming season-opening concerts. Less than two weeks, really, as rehearsals would begin in 10 days for Four Seasons Reconstructed, for strings, continuo, and harp, arranged by Max Richter. My initial reaction was surprise, followed quickly by apprehension. How would this work? I knew that the musicians had not approved the initial set of “Back to Work Health Protocols” that had been presented to us, and that the committee was working with management on modifying areas of concern.

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