Jin Yue Trousil, left, and Angela Huffer practice for the upcoming Juneau Symphony concert this weekend beginning April 30. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Jin Yue Trousil, left, and Angela Huffer practice for the upcoming Juneau Symphony concert this weekend beginning April 30. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

A rising note: Juneau Symphony brings back the noise

A full show and a new musical director to welcome audiences back.

The Juneau Symphony, long muffled by pandemic restrictions, will bring its pure and unalloyed sound back to a live audience beginning this weekend.

Playing for their 59th season, the symphony will play before the audience at the Thunder Mountain High School auditorium this weekend.

“We’ve had concerts throughout the pandemic, both virtually and two that were in person, but this is the first time we’re fully back,” said Juneau Symphony executive director Charlotte Truitt. “We’ve been planning on this concert for many months now. We were planning on holding it in January but we had to delay it due to omicron.”

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The concert will be Christopher Koch’s first time at the helm, coming up from the Ozarks Lyric Opera to serve as music director for the Juneau Symphony.

“It’s been a long time in coming. It’s wonderful that we’re finally able to get back on the horse,” Koch said in a phone interview. “It’s a big deal for any organization but for the performing arts, especially because we were so hard hit by the pandemic. It’s a big deal to have the moment where we can do it again.”

Photos by Ben Hohenstatt / Capital City Weekly
The Juneau Symphony’s new music director Christopher Koch will lead the group for the first time in concert this weekend on April 30.

Photos by Ben Hohenstatt / Capital City Weekly The Juneau Symphony’s new music director Christopher Koch will lead the group for the first time in concert this weekend on April 30.

Difficulties practicing together and performing together hit the symphony particularly hard, Koch said, as it was difficult for much of the pandemic to gather dozens of musicians together indoors to practice as a whole.

“The pandemic has been unexpected every step of the way,” Koch said. “What makes this different is getting everyone back together in a traditional concert. It’s the first time and it’s great to be back together again.”

The group will play Dvorak’s Slavonic Dance No. 8, Enesco’s Romanian Rhapsody No. 2, and ‘Sibelius Symphony No. 2 in D major in the upcoming concert.

“We are a volunteer orchestra made up of our community members,” Truitt said. “When you’re pulling together a full orchestra of over 60 people it’s quite a feat. We’re thrilled to be back in full force. I think the community is longing for this experience.”

Ben Holtz plays a cello as the Juneau Symphony prepares for this weekend’s concert.

Ben Holtz plays a cello as the Juneau Symphony prepares for this weekend’s concert.

Angela Huffer, a violinist who won the symphony’s Youth Solo Competition, will perform Mozart’s Concerto No. 3 in G Major for violin and orchestra.

“I think the audience will enjoy hearing her. She’s a really talented musician, she’s only 13. The youth solo competition is a part of our programming,” Truitt said. “That’s the grand prize, the chance to play with the full orchestra.”

The symphony will play once more over the summer before beginning its 60th season in the autumn.

“We have one more concert in June. That’s our pops concert, a community favorite. That’ll be June 11-12,” Truitt said. “The theme is A Night at the Oscars — it’s Oscar-winning movie scores. Our former director Troy Quinn will be back to direct that.”

Tickets for the April 30 and May 1 shows are available at juneausymphony.org/current-season/. Masks and being symptom-fee will be required, Truitt said, but proof of vaccination will not be.

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

Know & Go

What: Juneau Symphony concert “Musicians’ Favorites”

When: 8 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday.

Where: Thunder Mountain High School, 3100 Dimond Park Loop

Tickets: Tickets are available for purchase online at https://juneausymphony.na.ticketsearch.com/sales/salesevent/12651.

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