Friday, September 26, 2008

Strike up the band

Community Orchestra to begin second season

Express Staff Writer

The first violin section of the Wood River Community Orchestra rehearses. Photo by

The non-profit Wood River Community Orchestra will begin its 2008-09 season from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 28, in the Orchestra Room of the Wood River Middle School. Rehearsals will be held weekly.

The annual concert will take place in the spring of 2009 and feature music by Mozart, Haydn, and Brahms, as well as folk melodies, world music, The Beatles and jazz. In early May 2009, the Wood River Community Orchestra will also accompany the Footlight Dance Company, performing music of Leonard Bernstein.

"The orchestra is open to anyone who can read and play music," Music Director Andy Lewis said. "But even if you can't yet, we are here to help anyone who has a desire to learn. We're now a non-profit corporation and are in a fundraising drive to get the educational mission, and ourselves, up and running."

One element of the drive will be a series called "Saturdays at 6," in which members of the orchestra will play and Lewis will talk about the music the orchestra is playing. The first of these will occur at the Broschovsky Gallery at an as-yet unspecified date.

The orchestra is now a member of the Wood River Arts Alliance, and partners with the Blaine County School District, Sun Valley Symphony, Footlight Dance Company and other local arts organizations.

The group's mission is to provide a place where community members "who want to play music can do so, with other members of our community," Lewis said.

"All levels are welcome, from beginner to seasoned professional," he said. "Our goal is enjoyment. We will continually strive to improve, to reach our highest level. While mainly focusing on classical music, we are unbound by stylistic limitations, and will learn and play various styles, in collaboration with many community members, including jazz, rock and folk musicians, world music, drumming groups, all kinds of music, as we did last season."

Lewis will offer coaching and lessons before and after the Sunday rehearsals and on Thursday evenings. For more information, contact Lewis at 928-6448,, or orchestra Manager Brady Buckner at, (206) 372-8757. Tax-deductible donations may be sent to Wood river Community Orchestra, Box 1628, Hailey, ID, 83333.

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