GENERATIONS, the theme for the Coffs Harbor City Orchestra’s (CHCO) first gala concert since 2019, celebrates and showcases young aspiring musicians, musical families within the orchestra and some leading cross-generational composers.
With an evening concert on Saturday September 3rd and a 2pm matinee on Sunday September 4th in the Princess Room at Sawtell RSL, the concert will be headlined by a performance of Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor with young local virtuoso Sam Woolford at the piano.
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“The Piano Concerto en draws it from the color of Norwegian folk music paired with romantic form to give us the melodic warmth that Grieg is cherished for,” CHCO’s Josh Jeremy told News Of The Area.
Multi-talented musician Sam Woolford, a protege of local pianist Alice Jamison, performs the piece, aged just eighteen.
“In addition to his studies at HSC, Sam is working towards obtaining his AMus certificate in music and is considering post-school studies in music,” said Alice.
“He’s an impressive pianist.
“He has all the attributes of a great musician – musical, intelligent, sensitive.
“It has been a pleasure to teach Sam on his musical journey, which I hope will be long and rewarding,” she said.
Other diverse selections on the program include selections from the Strauss Family’s Blue Danube and Radetzky March, Australian flair with music by Australian Elena Kats-Chernin, and program music by Robert W. Smith expressing both the calm and fury.
“As generationally diverse as the members of our orchestra are, so is our program,” Chenoa Wilson’s orchestra president told NOTA.
“We love to perform and present music covering a wide range of genres such as classical, modern contemporary, show tunes and even a local composition from one of our talented young members.”
The orchestra is thrilled to have melodious trumpeter Tim Egan, who is also the orchestra’s musical director, join them as a soloist for a special musical premiere.
Tim Egan told NOTA: “We’re really excited to present this gala concert where we’re showcasing the younger members of the orchestra.
“Young people today can often be victims of constant criticism, so we support our young people in their musical endeavors and you will be blown away by their talent.
“I will also be joining the solo line-up with a special arrangement for flugelhorn and orchestra – just hope I can match it with the younger ones,” Tim said.
The orchestra relishes the opportunity to not only showcase young budding musicians, but also celebrate young-at-heart musicians who provide guidance and a steady hand.
CHCO’s philosophy is that community music is invaluable because it provides a unique opportunity where people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds can come together, inspire, collaborate, improve, and create something wonderful together.
It allows musicians aged ten to eighty-five to play together.
The gig is also a nod to his own past with the orchestra formed in 1979 when Danny Cowen and his twelve-member ensemble began rehearsals in the library at Coffs Harbor High School.
Lifetime member Joy Griffin, who was involved with the orchestra for the next 43 years, told NOTA: “It has been gratifying to watch the orchestra grow from humble beginnings into such a large, high quality orchestra.
“Community spirit has always been at the heart of the orchestra and remains so today.
“We always encourage young students to join us.
“To give them the experience of playing in a group; and we try to make our concerts accessible to as many people as possible.
“The success of the orchestra is largely due to our excellent conductor Tim Egan who has been at the helm for nine years and does an outstanding job,” said Joy.
The orchestra provides regular updates on what they’re up to on their Facebook page and website.
By Andrea FERRARI