With venues closed, W MI ensemble puts on backyard performance

Kent County

The Vintage Parlor Orchestra practices in director Thomas Pike’s backyard in Wyoming on June 11, 2020.

WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — In the age of social distancing and closed venues due to coronavirus, a local orchestra has found a way to have its music heard by putting on a neighborhood concert.

“These musicians are used to playing … in large groups and concert halls and those areas probably won’t be occupied for the next however long,” The Vintage Parlor director Thomas Pike said.

With traditional venues closed, Pike moved rehearsal to the backyard of his home in Wyoming, playing music for the whole neighborhood to come out and enjoy.

“I did invite a few people to come sit in the yard and come enjoy the music,” Pike said.

About a dozen neighbors and friends came out to Thursday’s rehearsal, listening as the orchestra played from the back porch that doubled as a stage.

Since Pike started The Vintage Parlor Orchestra in 2018, the Grand Rapids-based ensemble has been on a mission to bring classical music to new audiences and venues, performing in nontraditional spaces like museums and breweries.

While Thursday’s backyard performance was a first for the group, Pike plans to hold more neighborhood concerts in the future.

“I’m also going to try and see if there’s any neighborhood concerts that other people want to host so that we can bring this to them,” Pike said.

As Pike believes music may be the medicine to get the community through a difficult time.

“When you sit down and stare at music for two hours and just think about the note and how we can create harmony between each other … it works through life in really profound ways,” Pike said.

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