Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Prelude to applause

Community Orchestra will debut at Liberty Theatre

Express Staff Writer

The Wood River Community Orchestra holds its first violins rehearsal for the up-coming concert. Photo by

The Wood River Community Orchestra will present its first public concert at the Liberty Theatre in Hailey at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 4. The concert will be free and donations will be accepted.

The orchestra has more than 20 musicians, all based in the Wood River Valley and ranging in age from 13 to 80, including a group of local percussionists known as the Sun Valley Skins.

The musical director and conductor of the fledgling community orchestra is professional musician Andy Lewis of Hailey. After 28 years as a freelance musician, Juilliard graduate Lewis moved to Hailey last year to teach orchestra in the Blaine County School District.

He spent 17 years as substitute principal timpanist and section percussionist with the San Francisco Symphony, 11 years as principal percussionist with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, and several seasons as principal timpanist with the New Zealand Symphony, the Mexico City Symphony and the National Orchestra of Colombia.

The orchestra will play pieces by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Josef Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven, Domenico Scarlatti and Maurice Ravel, as well as 20th century works by Duke Ellington, and John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

"The philosophy of our orchestra is that we want to provide a place for all community members to participate in music making, without fear of being compared to an artificial standard of performance," Lewis said. "We are here for the fun of music making, and to provide our neighborhood with a sense of musical community."

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