Athens Symphony Orchestra

The Athens Symphony Orchestra, whose last full concert was in fall 2019, returns to the stage at the Classic Center Theatre on Sunday, Nov. 7. (Courtesy/Susan Dinwiddie)

The Athens Symphony Orchestra will return to the Classic Center Theatre at full capacity on Nov. 7. For the first time since 2019, they will perform as a full orchestra.

“I know that all of the members of the orchestra, from the conductors to all of the musicians, to the staff that work at the Classic Center Theatre, everyone’s just really excited to finally come together again,” Athens Symphony Orchestra head of media relations Lucy Smith said.

Despite the delight, the process of preparation for this concert has had its challenges.

“It’s been hard. We actually had to change once we started rehearsals because of some shortages in a couple of sections,” orchestra conductor Susan Dinwiddie said. “I had to take out P. Tchaikovsky’s ‘Swan Lake’ and replace it with ‘Symphony No. 2’ because we didn’t have the instrumentation to do everything. Once we got the instrumentation, we were in great shape.”

Audience members can expect four pieces for Sunday’s fall concert.

The first four movements of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 2 op. 17 will be performed first. Following an intermission, Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Overture to Egmont” will be conducted by the Athens Symphony Orchestra associate conductor Brad Maffet.

Next, the orchestra will continue their revelry in Beethoven with “Romance No. 2 in F Major” for violin and orchestra, op. 50, which will feature Serena Scibelli as a violin soloist. The orchestra will finally return to Tchaikovsky with a closing performance of “Marche Slav” op. 31.

“I chose this program because I said, ‘I do not want to do anything sad. No slow, sad music,’” Dinwiddie said. “‘Symphony No. 2’” is all upbeat. I wanted that and just to have pieces that everyone will recognize. It’s just going to be back to the wonderful favorites.”

Tickets can be acquired by visiting the Classic Center website.

All audience members must adhere to the Classic Center safety protocols. Face coverings are recommended for adults and children ages two and up. In addition, one of the following must be presented for entry — an original vaccination card or clear photocopy, a signed health and safety affidavit plus temperature check at the door, or proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the event.

For those who cannot attend in person, the concert will be livestreamed on Vimeo.

“I want it to be fun for the audience, I want it to be fun for our musicians and it will be. It’s a dynamic performance, it truly is,” Dinwiddie said.