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Musicians Return to the Stage

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EUGENE, Ore. — Musicians who used to play instruments are playing again thanks to a Eugene Symphony program called Play it Again.

Soreng Theatre, with its brights lights and impressive stage, is a theater that Barry Smith and Richard Willard can proudly say they performed at. They are musicians who both got an early start.

“Well, I played through high school and a little bit more, and then like an idiot I stopped for about 40 years,” Smith said.

It’s the same story for Willard. He put down his horn when he was 30. When he retired, he bought the horn of his dreams and started playing again.

Last year the Eugene Symphony started up its education program the Play it Again! Adult Ensemble. It was advertised in a symphony brochure. Fifty-one musicians who had played before and wanted to play again were placed in an ensemble according to their ability. They then worked with symphony orchestra musicians for a recital.

Smith and Willard are practicing for Saturday’s hearing. The symphony is expecting 55 musicians, all wanting to share their love of music.

The Play it Again! musicians will take to the stage December 4.

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