Orchestra concerts celebrate, showcase member musicians
Upcoming Lee County Community Orchestra concerts will honor several members — while also helping raise funds for the group's commissioning of a special 25th anniversary musical piece.
Six soloists and a violin quartet will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 16, and again at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 17, at Grace Chapel Church for the event, called "Celebrating the Musicians." Admission is free, and the event will also feature a reception afterward — during which the orchestra will sell special-edition pottery bells, made by Kevin Brown and Sandy Cole of North State Pottery. Those sales will support the costs of commissioning a unique selection by Mark Petering, a composer who has worked with the orchestra in the past.
Carol Judd, a trumpet player with the orchestra, said the show is set up to keep the audience engaged.
"We're going to do a variety of different solos, playing different styles," she said. "It's not all classical. I'm playing a turn-of-the-century cornet piece."
The orchestra will also have a concert in May to help raise funds for its anniversary piece, which will premiere in October. Orchestra Publicist Jean McSwain previously told The Herald that Petering was keeping his creation a surprise for as long as possible, but she's excited for the finished product.
"He has not given us any hints to what he's writing as of yet," she said in January. "But we are sure excited about it. He does beautiful work."
Judd said in addition to the upcoming concert and the one in October, she's also looking forward to the May show, which will feature fan favorites and audience suggestions.
"We've had a basket for people to drop a piece of paper in with what they'd like to hear, and we'll go through and pick the best," she said. "It's like a people's choice show."
In the March 16 and 17 shows, the orchestra will accompany solo performers Morgan Caffey Brewer (viola) playing "Harold in Italy" by Hector Berlioz; Elisabeth Crandall (cello) playing "Kol Nidrei" by Max Bruch; Judd (trumpet/cornet) playing "Fantaisie Brillante" by Jean-Baptiste Arban; Eric Keith (horn) playing "Villanelle" by Paul Dukas; Jessica Traversino (flute) playing "Flute Concertino" by Cecile Chaminade; and Lauren Winkens (clarinet) playing "Concerto #2 in E flat Major" by Carl Maria von Weber.
Playing Antonio Vivaldi's "Concerto for Four Violins" will be Miriam Bryant, Hunter Cox, Ueli Schweizer and Debbie White.
Who: Lee County Community Orchestra
What: A concert featuring six soloists from the orchestra, as well as a violin quartet
When: 8 p.m. March 16 and 3 p.m. March 17
Where: Grace Chapel Church