Sarah Hicks’ debut with the Tulsa Symphony was just an opening. Literally.
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Hicks was scheduled to be the guest conductor for the orchestra’s second performance at ONEOK Field, home of the Tulsa Drillers, in October 2020. The previous month, the orchestra had made history by being the first large orchestra to perform in front of an audience since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hicks was to lead the orchestra in a concert that would feature Brahms’ Symphony No. 4, as well as Bruch’s “Scottish Fantasy”, performed by the orchestra’s first violin, Rossitza Goza.
The weather, however, had different plans.
“We knew we were probably going to have some trouble during the dress rehearsal, because the wind was blowing the sheet music all over the place,” Hicks recalls. “Then on the day of the concert it was freezing rain.”
However, Hicks and the musicians of the Tulsa Symphony were determined to play something for the audience members who had braved the time. So, in the midst of the wind and the rain, Hicks conducted the orchestra in the Overture of Mozart’s “Abduction from the Seraglio”, before all participants took shelter.
“We wanted to do something for the public,” Hicks said. “But it was also for ourselves. It took us four days to prepare for this concert, and we wanted part of it to come to fruition. “