Scheduled events waylaid
Many entertainment organizations throughout the area had elected to take a proactive approach to the COVID-19 pandemic even before Mayor Derek Slaughter made an emergency declaration Friday morning banning all gatherings of 250 people or more.
As of press time, the Community Arts Center, Billtown Blues Association, Williamsport Symphony Orchestra, Williamsport Community Concert Association, Lycoming College, K’s for Cancer, and Weis Center had announced plans to delay or postpone upcoming events in the interest of public safety.
Several other organizations declined to announce cancellations or postponements, but said they are closely monitoring the situation and will make the decision to move their events should the need arise.
Community Arts Center
After much consideration, the Community Arts Center made the decision to postpone several upcoming events, including the Tower of Power concert that was scheduled for Wednesday, and the Dallas String Quartet performance slated for Thursday. The Tower of Power show has not yet been rescheduled, but the Dallas String Quartet performance has been tentatively moved to Oct. 2.
“While we have taken steps to keep the public safe while here at the Community Arts Center, it is clear — particularly after the governor’s request that events with more than 250 people be canceled — that postponing upcoming shows is a more appropriate, safer course of action,” said Chuck Still, Community Arts Center executive director.
In addition to the aforementioned programs, the Bela Fleck & The Flecktones concert scheduled for March 24 has also been called off, as the group has cancelled its entire spring tour. Make-up dates for this show have yet to be determined.
At this point, the CAC will hold all tickets in anticipation of moving shows to future dates, Still said.
“If performances are ultimately canceled, or (patrons) cannot attend a performance on the new date, we will, of course, refund the money,” Still said. “We promise to keep you all advised during this very fluid situation.”
For more information, call 570-326-2424, visit caclive.com or find the Community Arts Center on its social media platforms.
Billtown Blues Association
On Thursday afternoon, the Billtown Blues Association announced plans to postpone its annual Billtown Blues Challenge, which was slated for this afternoon at the Genetti Hotel. The event will be rescheduled when “conditions are indicated,” according to the organization.
“We assembled our officers and board members, and reviewed the pros and cons and decided to err on the side of safety and caution,” said Bonnie Tallman, Billtown Blues Association executive director. “We are stressing ‘postpone,’ as we do intend to have the Audition Concert when it seems appropriate to do so.”
For further announcements on the Billtown Blues Challenge, the BBA can be found at billtownblues.org and on Facebook.
Williamsport Symphony Orchestra
The Williamsport Symphony Orchestra’s upcoming “Heroes and Heroines” concert that was scheduled for tonight at the Community Arts Center has been postponed out of “concern for the audience and musicians,” said Hind Jabbour, WSO business manager.
The WSO will release the show’s rescheduled date soon, and is asking its patrons to hold onto their tickets as they will transfer to the new date.
For further questions about this show, the WSO can be reached at 570-322-0227.
Williamsport Community Concert Association
The Williamsport Community Concert Association has postponed its Doolin’ concert, which had been scheduled for March 26 at the Community Arts Center. The band, which is a French Celtic group, has been impacted by the recent changes to entry to the United States, said WCCA President Cynthia Staiman Vosk.
“We will be discussing a new date, most likely in September or October,” Staiman Vosk said of the Doolin’ show. “We will hold all current tickets for the future concert date.”
The WCCA is taking a “wait and see” approach to its FACE Vocal Band performance, scheduled for April 23, according to Staiman Vosk.
For more information, visit williamsportcommunityconcerts.org or call 570-326-2424.
With Lycoming College announcing on Wednesday that it will extend its spring break until March 23, Dr. Kent C. Trachte, the school’s president, said that all entertainment events planned for next week have been cancelled.
“We will also use that week to gather more information and make decisions about other activities scheduled for the remainder of the semester,” Trachte said.
The school said that some of the cancelled events might be rescheduled, but those details have yet to be sorted out.
In addition, a few other events have been cancelled beyond the school’s extended spring break, and those decisions were made by either the person organizing the event or by the guest speaker/performer.
You can visit the events page (lycoming.edu/calendar) on Lycoming’s website for a current schedule of events. Cancelled events have been marked as such on that page, and will continue to be updated as needed.
K’s for Cancer
K’s for Cancer postponed its two cornerstone events — the Justin Flannery Hilton 5k Leprechaun Run and Ceiliuradh Beer Festival — which were scheduled for today.
“As a community organization with a mission of supporting the greater good, the board collectively felt that it was our social responsibility to concur and postpone all events occurring on Saturday with the intentions to reschedule in the near future,” the organization said in a press release.
Though no rescheduled date has been set yet, the organization promised the “same level of effort and celebration initially intended.”
For further information on these events, visit ksforcancer.org or the organization’s Facebook page.
Uptown Music Collective
Dave Brumbaugh, executive director of the Uptown Music Collective, said on Friday that the school of music is “monitoring the situation with the spread of COVID-19 carefully,” and is communicating closely with its students, teachers, and staff. That being said, UMC currently has no plans of cancelling any of its upcoming events.
“As an organization, we are following the CDC guidelines for schools by encouraging our staff and students to protect their personal health, to know the symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath, to wash their hands and face frequently, and encouraging everyone to stay home if they feel sick,” Brumbaugh said.
Brumbaugh added that the Uptown Music Collective is prepared “if and when the situation warrants” to cancel any and all events, and to move online or video lessons, and streaming classes for as long as necessary.
“We are in a lull at the moment when it comes to public events. This gives us the opportunity to assess the situation over the next week,” said Brumbaugh. “At this point, we will follow Governor Wolf’s statewide request to avoid and/or cancel any events of 250 or more people. As the situation develops we are standing by to put a hold on all events if and when it’s warranted.”
For further information, call 570-329-0888 or visit uptownmusic.org.
In press release on Thursday, the staff of Bucknell University’s Weis Center for the Performing arts said, “As of today, the University has made the decision to limit large-scale public gatherings, including performances, for the duration of the semester.”
Stressing that public health authorities have advised that practicing “social distancing” is the best way to slow the spread of infection, the Weis Center announced plans to postpone or cancel the following events: Danu, Peking Acrobats, Calefax Reed Quintet, Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain and Vuyo Sotashe.
The Weis Center said that it’s looking for opportunities to bring many of these artists back in the future, and will keep the public informed as plans are developed for the 2020-21 season.
Ticket holders of the aforementioned Weis Center performances have the option of donating the value of their tickets to the Weis Center by calling or emailing the Campus Box Office (570-577-1000; email@example.com) by March 20. After that date, a refund will automatically be issued for all tickets.
Bryce Jordan Center
Penn State University’s Bryce Jordan Center — one of the biggest concert venues in Central Pennsylvania with over 15,000 seats — has many large events scheduled for the weeks and months ahead, including Winter Jam 2020 and Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live, as well as concerts from Justin Bieber, the Killers, and Chris Stapleton. None of these events had been cancelled or postponed as of press time, but the situation is being closely monitored, according to the school.
“At the Bryce Jordan Center there is no higher priority than the health and well-being of our event guests, performers, student athletes, staff and community,” said Kate Clarke, BJC director of marketing. “We are working closely with health and safety officials to monitor the impact of the coronavirus on events scheduled at the Bryce Jordan Center.”
As information is updated, it will be announced on bjc.psu.edu and on the Bryce Jordan Center’s social media channels, said Clarke.