Nora's Story

Nora Bumanis, ESO Harp
Nora Bumanis, ESO Principal Harp

My name is Nora Bumanis, and I have been a proud member of your Edmonton Symphony Orchestra for 41 years.

I remember each of the concerts we played in your communities over the last 20 months. I loved seeing the smiles on your faces and watching you sway in time with the music. Though the stage at the Winspear Centre remained dark, you welcomed us, your Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, into your communities, your parks, and your backyards. Thinking of these concerts brings a smile to my face, because from your reactions, it was clear to me how meaningful music is to you.

Returning to the Winspear Centre felt like coming home. From seeing our coats and instrument cases filling backstage to bumping elbows with friends and colleagues we hadn’t seen in months, nothing felt more natural. When we sat onstage and tuned – the whole orchestra holding the same note for the first time since March 2020 – I was overcome with gratitude and joy. It felt so empowering for us to be together again. Alex Prior walked out onstage and stood on the podium. “Good morning,” he said. “Wagner.” Three words – that was all it took. As he raised his baton and the orchestra began to play, everything felt right in the world once again.

Can I count on you to keep your Edmonton Symphony Orchestra playing?

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As we navigate an ever-changing landscape, the ESO is vulnerable. We can only plan concerts weeks in advance, instead of years. To keep you safe, our home, which can seat up to 1,930 people, now only welcomes a few hundred at each concert. Because of this, the costs of putting on a concert often outweigh the revenue we receive from ticket sales. We are determined, however, to keep our stage lit and our doors open.

We know that now, more than ever, our music brings you the hope and inspiration that you need. You inspire us, each and every day, to bring our community together through music. We know that you have been waiting and hoping and supporting us, and we are so happy to return to the stage and support you.

Thank you for keeping music alive in our community.

The audience at the Winspear Centre now is a small but mighty group. When we start our concerts, you cheer: even though there are only a couple hundred of you, you cheer like you’re a thousand. Your applause touches our hearts, because we know that our music means something to you. You inspire us to be better: to try new things, to share more music, and to show you how much you matter to us.

Thank you for your continued support of your Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.

Yours in music,
Nora Bumanis
ESO Principal Harp

Donate now:

Monthly Sustaining donation One-Time donation