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Billings Symphony celebrates 70 years, updates headquarters

Posted at 9:52 PM, Jan 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-01 08:04:58-05

BILLINGS - The Billings Symphony Orchestra and Chorale has been bringing music to local venues for 70 years.

Now, after a pandemic-sized wait, they've updated their own venue, but their goal remains the same.

The Billings Symphony, Orchestra and Chorale just celebrated a big day.

The ribbon cutting marked a new era for ITS headquarters, sales, and community outreach.

"We really like the location. A number of other opportunities that we provide down here. One of them is artistic operations, where we can record some of our explore music opportunities, guest artists practice, musician auditions. We also are happy to open up this space here for short performances, pop-up concerts, lectures," Billings Symphony General Manager Brad Constantine said.

To help celebrate the event, a German Bosendorfer piano is on loan in the Symphony's lobby. This is a piece they hope to permanently showcase through a crowd-funding effort.

"We have people that have already stopped and looked in the windows because of the new piano that we have playing in the background,"Constantine said, "I've always said that music heals, and it's a wonderful time to have music playing."

For the first time the entire library is in one place, and there's a meeting room for the Symphony Board-one that Symphony Administrators say the public can eventually utilize.

"One of our "Explore Music" programs is to provide a music experience to the Women's Prison here in Billings. With the pandemic it's been challenging. However, we were able to actually record the guitar instruction and get that to the Women's Prison," Constantine said,"Saturday we're going to record music sectionals, or videos of each of our sections that we'll be providing to the elementary schools."

With all of these future plans to look forward to, the Symphony decided to add one more.

"We're very excited to announce today that from February 13th, we'll go back to perform with symphonic music for our community," Billings Symphony Executive Director Ignacio Barrón Viela said.

The Symphony has been utilizing virtual platforms to connect while waiting for live concerts.

"We'll have several concerts over a weekend so that everybody can social distance, just making sure we provide a safe event. We can't wait," Barrón Viela said.

The new building also offers the convenience of ground level ticket purchases.

"It's really special to have a symphony in our community, where we see people that we've known for years, and we know how hard they work, we know how talented they are. And we're so grateful," long-time Symphony supporter and contributor of the venue's new board-room Patricia Burg said.

Patricia and her husband Dr. John Burg are avid symphony-goers and supporters of the local scene.

"There is no unique path to working music, to be part of the music field, I think that there is only one common element. The passion for the art, the passion for the music, and I will encourage every single kid in our community, if they are given an instrument, practice and don't give up," Barrón Viela said, "And if you do give up, keep on listening,"

The new Symphony Headquarters and be found at 2820 2nd Avenue N.