The Ozark Festival Orchestra hosted its first live concert of 2021

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– A 44-year-old live music tradition is back after a year of not playing because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ozark Festival Orchestra in Monett, Missouri, got to share its music with a live audience on Sunday, April 25.

The crazy thing about musicians is they’re really wanting to get back to playing,” said Todd Borgmann, music director of Ozark Festival Orchestra. “That’s one thing when everything shut down last Spring, we had to cancel a concert, and then we didn’t have an October concert.”

Borgmann and the orchestra have been eager to get back on the stage.

“I’ve been in love with music since the first day of the seventh-grade band when I picked up a tuba,” said Borgmann.

“Like everybody else, we missed out on a lot in 2020,” said Andy Goodson, who attended the concert.

“We had a concert last February, and that was the last time I played until this concert,” said Phyllis Garrett, cellist.

Garret has been a part of the orchestra since its inception.

“I’ve been the cello since I was 10 years old,” said Garrett. “The first night I was at rehearsal, of course, my fingers were hurting from not playing. It’s just wonderful to be back with other musicians and to see everybody and play good music.”

“Music has the ability to really either remind you of emotions or influence your emotions,” said Goodson. “It can be a source of joy and happiness.”

“There was a point today in one of the pieces, I just sort of engrossed myself in the music, caught up in the moment, there was a little tear that fell, and was just really moving,” said Borgmann.

Those who attended the concert say it’s refreshing to finally have some music back in their lives.

“Today, I’m a proud father watching my kid,” said Goodson. “I’m also a proud community member just seeing what they’ve accomplished.”

“I’m glad that we’ve been able to have the support in the community for the last 41 years to present quality concerts like this one,” said Borgmann. “And I hope that we have another 40 or more years left in this community as well.”

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