With the COVID 19 pandemic currently silencing most live concerts, the Fort Collins Symphony (FCS) is keeping the music alive with a recorded stream of its February performance of Ludwig van Beethoven’s epic Symphony No. 5, in C minor, Op 67. Under the direction of Maestro Wes Kenney, this titan of symphonies was recorded at the Fort Collins Lincoln Center in a 360-degree format that allows viewers to scroll around the stage for an inside view of the orchestra.
This interactive experience was recorded by Anton Pinkerton in coordination with Colorado State University’s Office of the Vice President for Research, the Virtual Reality Team, and the Enriched Environments for Healthy Aging Research Team. The Virtual Reality (VR) project was produced in conjunction with B Sharp Arts Engagement®, a signature community collaborative program of Dementia-Friendly Communities of Northern Colorado. Since 2015, the FCS, Colorado State University, Dementia-Friendly Communities, the Alzheimer’s Association Colorado Chapter, Banner Health, and the Larimer County Office on Aging have partnered to engage people who live with dementia and their care partners in an immersive community musical experience that has been shown to provide therapeutic benefits. Each year, season tickets are provided to 30 couples (people living with dementia and their care providers) to attend the FCS concerts, receptions, and participate in a variety of research activities. Now, the VR project brings enriching symphonic experiences to those who cannot attend live performances due to illness or other limitations.
A complete list of FCS musicians is included on the YouTube page. The project was aided by Alien Theatre Recording’s Grant Evenson, who prepared the sound recording. The Lincoln Center Production Team included Production Coordinator/Audio Engineer Dave Brull, Stage Manager Jill Michel, Asst. Stage Manager Grant Putney, Master Electrician Sam Cranshaw, and Stagehands John Moreland, and David Taylor, and Hannah Ballou. The FCS production team included Music Director Wes Kenney, Personnel Manager Jean Denney, Production Manager Kevin Wolfgang, Librarian Ethan Hecht, and Assistant Conductor Jeremy Cuebas.
Sponsors of the concert and VR project are: Catalyst for Innovative Partnership Fund, City of Fort Collins Fort Fund, Colorado Creative Industries, Colorado State University Office of the Vice President for Research, Colorado State University Enriched Environments for Healthy Aging, National Endowment for the Arts, Dr. Ed Siegel, Dr. Peter Springberg, Kenneth & Myra Monfort Charitable Foundation, Plante Moran, Mary Pat McCurdie, Jane Sullivan, The Elizabeth Hotel, The Lincoln Center, Paul Wood Florist, Rare Italian, and KRFC 88.9 FM.