The Spokane Symphony is a musical mainstay in the region. In September, the 70-musician strong symphony is set to celebrate its 75th season and host new concerts and annual favorites at the downtown Fox Theater.
But for now, the music has gone silent. Most of the symphony musicians and employees are without jobs as the stay at home order has quashed public gatherings that include packed music halls and symphony concerts.
That means musicians like Stephen Swanson can practice at home but lack an audience.
"What we do is really quite the opposite of social distancing. We play for an audience and what that's not possible our life really gets turned upside down," says Swanson.
He and his wife both play in the symphony. When the ability to play dwindled so did their paychecks. Luckily, they have access to a musicians relief fund established by the Spokane Symphony to help struggling musicians pay bills during the COVID-19.
The relief fund can hopefully keep the musicians afloat so they can be prepared to take the stage again once the order is lifted and the crowds can come back to the iconic theater and celebrated symphony. And overall, there is optimism that the symphony will have a season and in some capacity play for an audience next season.
"There will be a future for the Spokane Symphony and the Fox," says Spokane Symphony Executive Director Jeff vom Saal.
While the Fox Theater remains silent, there are powerful notes playing in homes throughout Spokane as musicians wait and practice for when the curtains can open again.
If you would like to donate to the musicians relief fund you can click here: https://spokanesymphony.org/donate.