The first official notes were played this morning inside the new Warner Theatre.
The Erie Philharmonic Orchestra played two quick concerts all while construction crews continued to hammer away.
Musicians said that this is a long time coming as the theater needed these renovations for years. They played in the exact spot where they will make their debut once the theater is completely renovated.
“This is an important moment for the history of the philharmonic orchestra and the history of Erie,” said Daniel Meyer, Erie Philharmonic.
“We are so excited to be back here, not only after COVID to play live music, but to be playing live music here on this stage is a dream for all of us,” said Steve Weiser, Erie Philharmonic.
Weiser said that Standing Water, and Lights from the 1930’s, are just two reasons why every aspect of the theatre needed an upgrade.
“And you are not going to recognize this place when it’s done. There will be technology and an updated stage house mixed with a 1930’s movie place. It will be an icon in the country for sure,” said Daniel Meyer, Erie Philharmonic.
This is the last phase of the multidecade project.
“So this should be the end of it and we are hopefully. This is going to be the crown jewel when we are all set and done,” said Steve Morvay, Project Manager of E.E. Austin & Sons Inc.
Playing in the noisy conditions is a first for most of these veteran musicians.
“This will go on my list for the strangest gigs I have ever played because I have never had to wear construction gear on a gig before,” said Andrew Pongracz, Erie Philharmonic Percussionist.
The 26 million dollar project will also include a new stage and customized orchestra shell.
The Erie Philharmonic’s Christmas concert is set to be its first concert back in the theatre. This concert is scheduled for December 4th.