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Music to their ears

by DEVIN WEEKS
Staff Writer | August 26, 2020 1:00 AM

POST FALLS — A gorgeous garden party on a sunny Sunday brought in more than $8,000 for the Coeur d’Alene Symphony Orchestra.

“I was just floored at the generosity of the people. I had no Idea,” CSO board member Cora Powers said Tuesday. “I did the math and I went, ‘I can’t believe this.’”

The small, private gathering of about 40 people featured performances by Maestro Jan Pellant, assistant conductor/concertmaster Phil Baldwin and assistant concertmaster Elizabeth Hamilton, who delivered a spirited performance of Mozart.

“A rare treat,” Powers said.

The Garden Party was one of CSO’s initiatives to raise funds and at the same time afford music lovers an opportunity to hear music played by a CSO ensemble. Powers said social distancing was in place, and many people wore face masks.

“Many people may not be aware of how hard the symphony, like many other businesses and orchestras, has been hit,” Powers said. “We have had to cancel our concerts since March and it looks like we will be performing to much smaller audiences during the next year due to safety concerns regarding COVID. The financial strain is real. But we do intend to keep the music alive in Coeur d'Alene.”

The Garden Party was held at Katherine and Don Ekhoff’s private Post Falls residence, which overlooks the Spokane River.

“For two hours, guests enjoyed music, champagne, appetizers and a wickedly delicious cake, compliments of The Coeur d’Alene Resort,” Powers said. “To quote a senior executive at The Coeur d’Alene Resort, ‘What the world could use right now is a great concert.’”

CSO has a history of more than 30 years performing classical and popular music. A local nonprofit, it has a broad base of corporate and individual sponsors and draws musicians and audiences from Coeur d'Alene and the Inland Northwest.

Despite the hardships, Powers said the Symphony is applying for grants and trying to make money where it can.

“We cannot perform in a theater. Even though we want to, we can’t,” she said. “We are also limited in what we can perform because we have to practice social distancing with musicians on stage.”

She said she was incredibly humbled by the generosity of everyone who attended. She said she would have been happy to raise $4,000 — but that goal was exceeded thanks to the kindness of each guest.

“They understood the difficult position the Symphony is in right now,” she said. “We are not going to let it disappear.”

Info: www.cdasymphony.org