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FANtastic Faces at the Coeur d'Alene Symphony

by DEVIN WEEKS
Staff Writer | December 4, 2020 1:00 AM

It's fitting that Coeur d'Alene Symphony Orchestra conductor Jan Pellant would be capable of taking something from 2020's pandemic world and tying it to the era of Baroque music the symphony will be performing this evening.

FANtastic Faces — cardboard cutouts of would-be concert-goers that will fill seats in the audience since people can't attend live — is a concept of participation and being present for a performance that only happens once, while providing a means of connection between musicians and audiences.

In the 17th century, Pellant explained, a concert was much like a football or basketball game, a unique experience not to be missed.

"People were understanding the events for not only the beautiful music, but being part of something they thought was going to be a one-time event," Pellant said Wednesday. "It's about connecting to them emotionally, and that’s something that only FANtastic Faces can do."

As COVID keeps fans and audience members out of stands and seats, the next best thing is to fill those seats with cardboard cutouts of their faces, to remind athletes and performers who broadcast and livestream events that they're not playing for no one — their fans are admiring from afar.

"Cutouts have taken off in sports, the Emmy Award show and most recently the National Dog Show had its auditorium filled with cutouts of humans and their furbabies," CSO board member Cora Powers said.

CSO is partnering with Allegra Printing to create cutouts and reimagine the symphony experience in COVID times.

With a tax-deductible donation of $100 or more to the FANtastic Faces campaign, a life-sized cutout of the donor's face will be placed in one of the seats at each live-streamed Chamber Music performance this season. FANtastic Faces participants will have free access to all the livestreams, plus the opportunity to RSVP to attend January, March and April concerts in person, as conditions and capacity allow.

And yes, people can donate to have their fur-baby cutouts if they wish!

"We can have cutouts placed in every seat, so the musicians have an audience they can play to," Powers said. "They’ve made comments about that, that it would be nice to have someone to play to."

Powers said that while many people cannot or will not go out at this time, they still want to hear the music and be a part of it.

"This is a fun way people can just enjoy music and support the musicians," she said.

Tonight's concert, "A Baroque Holiday," features the Haydn Cello Concerto in C Major with Mika Hood, soloist, as well as works by Bach and Corelli and Christmas pops. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. with a pre-concert lecture at 7. This concert will be live-streamed only. Tickets begin at $20.

"European Postcards" will re-broadcast from a Nov. 6 concert on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with a pre-concert talk at 7 p.m. Tickets begin at $10.

"Poetry of Passion" will be held Jan. 30 in the Kroc Center Theater, audience if permitted. It will featuring the Brahms String Sextet in G, Op. 36 and the Dvorak Piano Quintet No. 2 in A, Op. 81.

Visit www.cdasymphony.org for prices, details and more about the FANtastic Faces project.

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Courtesy image

Want to have your FANtastic Face in the audience during a Coeur d'Alene Symphony Orchestra concert? Visit www.cdasymphony.org for details.