Working through a measure of George Walker’s “Lyric for Strings,” conductor Scott Speck cautions members of the Mobile Symphony Orchestra to think about the cues they take from one another: “You have to watch as much as listen, with this distance,” he says.
It is the evening of Friday, Oct. 16. The streets and sidewalks outside the Mobile Saenger Theatre bustle with the traffic of downtown’s monthly art walk: People enjoy meals and drinks at outdoor tables, browse the arts and crafts offered by vendors, drift in and out of galleries, enjoy music in the street. It is a crisp fall evening, and this is the first time since the onset of COVID-19 that art walk has had it’s full pre-COVID vibrancy.
On the stage of the Saenger, where the symphony is preparing for its first performance since March, things do not look normal at all. In the months of