PORTLAND — Although the Portland Symphony Orchestra has had to cancel upcoming performances due to COVID-19, they have been busy preparing to launch two initiatives: the PSO Musician Relief Fund and PSO: Notes from Home.

The Musician Relief Fund is a digital fundraising effort on the Portland Symphony Orchestra’s website (the direct link is www.portlandsymphony.org/relief/) to help its musicians who are facing an extended period without work due to regional concert cancellations, school and university closures, and other sources of musical employment.

PSO Executive Director Carolyn Nishon said, “During this time of great uncertainty, the artists and musicians who enrich the lives of our community are being hit hard by the regional work cancellations related to the novel coronavirus. We hope people will help support these artists by making a tax-deductible donation to the Musician Relief Fund and that the fund will help them during this challenging time, allowing them to continue to make beautiful music.”

100% of the funds raised will go directly to the PSO musicians whose livelihoods have been deeply impacted. Musicians will be given the option to opt out of the fund if they are financially stable and want their share to be distributed to other musicians.

In addition, the PSO musicians are creating home videos of themselves playing a piece, doing an instrument demonstration, or talking about their lives as musicians. These free videos will be shared on social media and in PSO email news on a rolling basis as part of the PSO: Notes from Home series.

“This initiative fully supports our mission,” Nishon said, “to bring the power of music to our community to enrich people’s lives. In this instance, we’ll connect directly from our musicians’ living rooms to yours.”

Founded in 1923, the Portland Symphony Orchestra (PSO) is one of the largest performing arts organizations in Maine and is widely regarded as one of the top symphony orchestras of its size in the country. Made up of more than 80 professional musicians, the PSO is renowned for its critically acclaimed performances and broad community engagement. The Symphony’s mission is to serve its community by enriching lives through music. More information can be found at www.portlandsymphony.org.

The Portland Symphony Orchestra is on Facebook and Instagram @portlandsymphony and people may sign up for their email newsletters by emailing [email protected]


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