Philharmonic cancels two Christmas concerts

COLUMBUS, Ind. — Due to the continuing local severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic board of directors has canceled its pair of Christmas concerts that were slated Dec. 12 at First Christian Church.

It marks the first time in the orchestra’s 34-year existence that the celebratory performances will not be held, and also is significant since the organization was doing its best to present smaller, chamber-style concerts with masks, social distancing and reduced audience sizes.

The Christmas concerts, often attracting two sold-out crowds of more than 1,000 people when held at the normal site of Judson Erne Auditorium, are second only in attendance to the annual outdoor May SALUTE concerts, attracting an estimated 5,000 people or more on Memorial Day weekend. This year’s SALUTE concert also had to be cancelled.

“We are so grateful to have been able to present live concerts this fall,” said David Bowden Philharmonic artistic director. “Our Downton Abbey-themed concert and ‘Comfort & Joy’ November concert were so enthusiastically received by our patrons longing for live music.

“We are disappointed not to be able to present our ‘Candlelit Christmas’ concert featuring (Columbus native) Abigail Beerwart and beautiful music for the holiday season. We look forward to resuming concerts in the near future when it is safe to do so. Until then, the musicians and I wish you a meaningful and joyous Christmas season.”

For more on this story, see an upcoming edition of The Republic.