[ Music Activities for Post-COVID 19 in Asia ] Vol.1

A Report from Taiwan

The COVID-19 situation in Taiwan is calmer than in other countries. There have been only 467 positive cases and just 7 deaths as of July 28, 2020.

Last April and May, we had a very brief window of opportunity to practice, wearing masks, taking forehead temperatures, and keeping a social distance as the preventive measures.

The two youth orchestras*, which have held practice throughout the COVID-19 period, performed a joint concert with about 200 youth and a full audience on July 12. No masks were worn by the performers on stage, the audience members were still required to wear masks, and all the seating was open just like the situation before COVID-19.

As we know, this year is the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth; the program included Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67, and at end of the concert, all members, including young beginners performed “Ode to Joy**” from Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 together with the 200 youth from the orchestras.

I think that there are still very few countries where an orchestra activity is able to be done freely like Taiwan. However, I do hope the case of Taiwan is a strong encouragement for the orchestra lovers who are now facing a difficult situation in the world.

Joe Yamaji, Music Director of Taoyuan City Jungli Youth Orchestra Association

* Taoyuan City Jungli Youth Orchestra & Taichung City Star Wish Orchestra
** “An Ode to Joy Festival,” arranged by Todd Parish