Aquarium’s Sea Otters Enjoy Chamber Music

Oct 5, 2020

During the six months the Oregon Coast Aquarium was closed due to COVID-19, the sea otters were treated to a private concert. The event gave the otters and people a much-needed boost.

Adrienne Welsh and Vickie Strauss of the Newport Symphony play music for the sea otters at the Oregon Coast Aquarium.
Credit Oregon Coast Aquarium youtube

Brittany Bright is curator for Marine Mammals at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport. She said when two cellists from the Newport Symphony Orchestra played Handel’s “Variations on Water Themes”, the otters were very interested…

“They got an hour’s worth of enrichment. That was awesome for them.” Bright said, “And then it’s also great for all of us just to be able to hear this soothing music playing while watching sea otters play in the background. And I think that’s something we can all probably use right now.”

Brittany Bright says the otters missed regular human visitors during the aquarium's closure.
Credit Oregon Coast Aquarium

Bright said she was surprised at how the otters, seals, and sea lions missed having regular visitors during the aquarium’s closure. Now that the aquarium has reopened, she said it’s nice to have things feel more normal.

The concert during the aquarium’s closure was an effort for the two non-profits to collaborate. Both the Oregon Coast Aquarium and Newport Symphony Orchestra are experiencing challenges brought on by the pandemic.