A Word From the Maestro

Orchestral musicians and conductors share a secret. As much as we love giving concerts, and however complete and full our lives at home and in our community, there is no experience that compares with rehearsing together. Rehearsals are our highest highs. As working hour follows working hour, in exalted and harmonious fellowship, we strive, laugh, and discover; we solve problems, spark insights, create beauty. Mobilizing body, intellect, feeling and spirit, we (literally) play. Lucky us! When a rehearsal is going well — and this our rehearsals seem reliably to do, year after year, for the PEI Symphony Orchestra — it takes on a spiritual quality, imbued with the deep and unique musicianly mutual listening that magically lifts the mysterious veil of human existence, and merges souls. The culminating concert extends and enlarges this transcendence to embrace the wider community of concertgoers, as our playing travels through air and ear into the hearts and minds of people we cherish.

Since March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced this powerful elixir to remain bottled up, such that none of us can currently partake of the very force that energizes us more than any other. We at PEISO are immensely proud of the resourcefulness and invention that have led us to invent surrogates for the symphony experience: impassioned renditions of chamber music; a drive-in concert; a musical nature walk; an online education program.

As much as we have missed these miraculous encounters in 2020, we know that, at some point in 2021, they will be back.
And then we will come fully back to life."


- Mark Shapiro
Music Director, The Prince Edward Island Symphony Orchestra

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