The Juneau Symphony rehearses for a concert in October of 2022. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)

The Juneau Symphony rehearses for a concert in October of 2022. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)

Juneau Symphony cancels concerts for first time in known memory due to weather

Snow storm made rehearsing, access to instruments, arrival of guest artists doubtful, director says.

The Juneau Symphony has canceled a concert due to weather for the first time in known memory, as record snowfall this week caused too many complications to perform a “Brahms Begins” show Saturday and Sunday at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé, according to Charlotte Truitt, the symphony’s executive director.

“Anytime folks are coming to a concert our preparation begins long before the concert weekend,” she said in an interview Wednesday. “And the full week of the concert is critical to the success of the performances. And so we did have to cancel a rehearsal on Tuesday night and our Thursday night rehearsal was looking like it might not be possible.”

There were also safety concerns for “just the loading of our instruments,” Truitt said.

“Right now, for example, we can’t even get into our offices to have access to get out the harp and the timpani, and the sound shells, and all the necessary equipment that’s needed to transport from our offices on 10th Street over to the high school,” she said. “The snow is so treacherous and high there’s no access on the streets.”

There were also 12 guest musicians scheduled to arrive Wednesday, whose arrival was uncertain, as was the ability of residents providing housing to accommodate them given the difficulties many people were having accessing their homes.

Truitt said that while concerts were canceled during the COVID-19 pandemic, she and the previous executive director are unaware of any that have been canceled previously due to inclement weather.

The two concerts were scheduled to feature Brahms’ “Symphony No. 1,” plus Greig’s “The First Meeting,” Mozart’s “Overture to the Magic Flute” and modern composer Jennifer Higdon’s “Blue Cathedral.” Truitt said it’s not possible to reschedule that particular show, although the hope is compositions from it will be featured in other upcoming concerts.

People who have already purchased tickets can exchange them for a future concert, Truitt said.

“We’ve already incurred lots of expenses to put on the concert,” she said when asked about refunds. “We’re a nonprofit organization and we are incurring expenses for the concert whether we hold it or not.”

The symphony can be contacted through its website at www.juneausymphony.org, or at (907) 586-4676 or info@juneausymphony.org.

• Contact Mark Sabbatini at mark.sabbatini@juneauempire.com or (907) 957-2306.

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