Symphony of the Mountains

Symphony of the Mountains, under the direction of Cornelia Laemmli Orth, will present a free performance of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony during a Sunday afternoon concert on Oct. 17.

Symphony of the Mountains is doing everything in its power to keep live music available to the community.

However, with the high number of COVID-19 cases in Northeast Tennessee, the orchestra announced this week that it will move its “Two Fifths of Beethoven” concert to the semi-outdoor Kingsport Farmers Market in an effort to help keep the audience and musicians safe. Originally scheduled for Oct. 16, the concert will now take place Sunday, Oct. 17, at 3 p.m.

The orchestra will perform Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, probably the most famous symphony ever composed. The Piano Concerto portion of the original concert will be rescheduled next season.

The 45-minute performance will take place rain or shine in the covered open-air market across from Food City at 308 Clinchfield St. in Kingsport. Patrons are encouraged to bring lawn chairs to sit socially distanced from other family groups. There will be a limited number of chairs available on site. Admission is free.

According to a news release from Symphony of the Mountains, Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony was critical in the victory of the Allies in World War II. The familiar first four notes convert to dot-dot-dot-dash in Morse code indicating the letter “V” for victory. Winston Churchill urged citizens to display a “V” wherever they could. He called it “the symbol of the unconquerable will of the people.” BBC Radio played the four notes on the timpani 150 times a day before every news broadcast.

Executive Director Scott Eddlemon said, “This orchestra, founded at the end of World War II, has continued to bring live music to the region for 75 years. Probably no time in that 75 years has been more challenging than the last 18 months. However, our musicians — along with our music director, Cornelia Laemmli Orth — have refused to give up. We have changed programs and adapted concerts again and again, and we will continue to do so until this pandemic is finally over. We are calling on our community to stand with us. Help us begin to claim victory over the virus by experiencing this masterpiece that helped win a war.

The concert is presented free of charge, thanks to the generosity of loyal donors and concert sponsor, Smith Conkin Dixon Wealth Management Group of Merrill Lynch. Donations will be accepted. To learn more, call the office at 423-392-8423 or visit www.symphonyofthemountains.org.

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