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Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra to broadcast live 'Concerts on the Square' from Breese Stevens Field
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Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra to broadcast live 'Concerts on the Square' from Breese Stevens Field

Concerts on the Square 2018

Before COVID-19, Concerts on the Square turned the state Capitol lawn into a giant picnic ground full of blankets and people enjoying the free music from the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra.

The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra’s Concerts on the Square will make a special appearance during what’s left of the summer away from the usual crowds and namesake location amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The orchestra will perform two versions of Concerts on the Square live from Breese Stevens Field on Aug. 25 and Sept. 1 and broadcast the performance for free. Each concert will start at 6 p.m.

As per public health guidelines, the orchestra will host a maximum of 25 people at Breese Stevens Field during the live performances, but will also be livestreaming the shows online at wcoconcerts.org and at the Madison Mallards Duck Pond as drive-in concerts. Tickets are available online at go.madison.com/mallardsconcert. One ticket per car is required, and each drive-in concert will have a 115-car capacity.

WORT 89.9 FM will also air the concerts, including a pre-concert show from 5 to 6 p.m. on performance days.

The musicians will be socially distanced and have personal protective equipment throughout the performances, and health screenings will be done before each concert. Rehearsals will take place outdoors.

Joe Loehnis, CEO of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, said the company had been looking for “new, creative ways to share WCO’s music” since the pandemic began.

“After looking at every possible option, we determined this was the best way to have our musicians play live for the community,” Loehnis said. “We are thrilled to partner with WORT 89.9 FM and the Madison Mallards to accomplish this vision.”

Loehnis said the 25 seats at Breese Stevens Field will be reserved for some of the orchestra’s community sponsors.

The concerts will feature music from the Beatles and Prince to Duke Ellington and Tchaikovsky in collaboration with national artists who have previously performed with the orchestra.

“We want this to be a celebration in resilience, with the WCO providing a couple of hours of live music during these times of pandemic featuring our talented musicians,” said Andrew Sewell, orchestra conductor.<&rdpStrong>Photos: Look back at Concerts on the Square over the years</&rdpStrong>

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