WSO cancels remainder of season, reschedules key programming for next year - Casper, WY Oil City News
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WSO cancels remainder of season, reschedules key programming for next year

Guest solo pianist Steven Lin bows after performing with the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra on Jan. 25, 2020. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. – The COVID-19 pandemic has affected almost every aspect of life, and the arts is no exception.

The Wyoming Symphony Orchestra was forced to cancel its March program just days before the performance.

Today it announced in a release that the April performance will also be canceled, effectively putting an early end to a promising season with the symphony’s new director Christoper Dragon.

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Also cancelled are the community outreach programs the WSO included this season, which were made impossible as schools closed and gatherings of more than 10 people were prohibited to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

For the April program, Dragon had asked New York-based composer Stephanie Ann Boyd to write the orchestra’s first-ever commissioned original piece in celebration of the 150th anniversary of suffrage in Wyoming.

Boyd visited Casper last December for research, during which she hoped to capture the feel of Wyoming’s landscape and people in music.

Composer Stephanie Ann Boyd poses at David Street Station in December, 2019, during a visit to Casper. Boyd, a New York-based composer, was hired to write a first-ever original piece commissioned by the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

Boyd’s composition, and the celebration of women’s suffrage, will be rescheduled for next season, according to the WSO release.

“This concert is not only monumental for the WSO, but also commemorates a pivotal moment in Wyoming and US history, so we fully intend to honor this occasion with the community,” said WSO executive director Rachel Bailey in the release.

Next season’s full schedule will be released in June.

We will make up for the shortened season brought on by COVID-19 with a spectacular season of music,” said Bailey.

“Our Pops in the Park concert is scheduled for Saturday, August 29th, and we are looking forward to a true community-wide celebration at the end of this difficult time.”

The March 14 ticket can be traded for next season, according to the release. However, the WSO is asking patrons with unused tickets to consider them a donation to help the organization weather the financial burden of the coronavirus shutdown. The office is closed for safety reasons, but staff can still be reached at (307) 266-1478.

“While we wish we could have finished this season as planned, we will come back next season with the quality of music, guests, and events our patrons have come to expect,” said Bailey in the release.

“Until then, stay safe, and we cannot wait to see you in the concert hall next season.”

The Latest Statistics from the Wyoming Department of Health:

What to do if you are feeling sick: In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Casper-Natrona County Health Department says that people who are feeling sick or exhibiting symptoms should contact their primary physician.

If you do not have a primary care provider, and live in Natrona County, please contact the COVID-19 hotline, operated by the Casper-Natrona County Department of Health. The line is open Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm 577-9892. Hotline services are intended for Natrona County residents and may not be able to provide specific information to persons calling from out of county.

Officials ask that you please do not self-report to the Emergency Room. Persons experiencing problems breathing should call 9-11.

For general inquiries and non-symptom related questions about COVID-19, please contact the Casper-Natrona County Health Department via email:

  • Practice Social Distancing by putting distance between yourself and other people. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

A list of area closures attributed to COVID-19 are available here.