LIMA — An unexpected donation to the Lima Symphony Orchestra, which has relied on digital audiences since coronavirus restrictions forced entertainment venues to halt live performances last year, shows how the symphony can expand its reach beyond Lima online.
A Lima native now living in Minnesota came across the symphony’s Mornings with the Maestro videos on YouTube while searching for virtual experiences to share with his children.
The free educational programs, designed to introduce children to the fine arts, inspired the family to watch LSO’s annual Bells, Brass and Bows concert, which was streamed online in December, and eventually led the family to donate to the symphony to support its programming that they had been consuming for free.
“There’s something really special about being in person and seeing musicians live,” said Renee Keller, marketing and education coordinator for LSO. “But this is also a way we can reach more people, or people who can’t make it to every program.”
The digital transformation not only allowed the symphony to continue performing but offered a new outlet for LSO artists to continue working with students through Mornings with the Maestro and Project Noteworthy, a grant-funded fine arts program for at-risk youth that has since shifted to Zoom, allowing Lima schools students the opportunity to work with a professional songwriter and write their own compositions for LSO to perform.
Entertainment venues will soon be permitted to reopen at limited capacity — a welcome change for entertainers. But Keller said the innovations in LSO’s educational programming may continue, bringing the fine arts to new communities.
The next concert, “Re:Imagination,” will be available for streaming March 13. Purchase tickets at limasymphony.com or call 419-222-5701.