PORT TOWNSEND — The Port Townsend Symphony Orchestra has a new name, mission statement, logo and website as it begins its 2019-20 concert season.
Formed in 1987 and known for 32 years as the Port Townsend Community Orchestra, the orchestra board and its members recently decided to change the name to Port Townsend Symphony Orchestra (PTSO) to reflect the development of the group of volunteer musicians.
The orchestra now performs a wide range of works, including symphonies, works by minority and living composers, as well as scores from movies, television and operas.
All performances are free to the public with donations accepted at the door. Most will be at the Chimacum High School, with one at Finnriver Farm and Cidery and at Port Townsend High School.
Featured soloists, both local and visiting artists, further enhance the symphonic experience, the symphony said in a press release.
The mission of the Port Townsend Symphony Orchestra is to entertain, inspire and engage the community through musical excellence and affordable concerts.
“This year marks a new era for our orchestra,” said Tigran Arakelyan, conductor and artistic director. “The big change comes with our new name, mission and logo.
“Change is essential for the growth of any organization and I am happy to see that the players have accepted the challenge.”
Volunteer orchestra performers Lesa Barnes, Arianna Golden and Pamela Roberts designed the new website at ptsymphony.org.
Arakelyan is beginning his third season with the orchestra, which has grown significantly during the past few years, the release said.
Guest artists from both coasts are featured this year and a new Young Artist Competition will give a local young musician the opportunity to solo with the PTSO.
“We have many talented musicians in our symphony, exciting repertoire, soloists and a new vision for the future,” Arakelyan said.
“If you heard us a decade ago then it is time for you to join us again this season. I am confident you will be pleasantly surprised at the transformation.”
Arakelyan is an award-winning conductor and educator, who holds a number of posts in addition to the Port Townsend Symphony Orchestra.
These include musical director of the Northwest Mahler Festival, assistant conductor of the California Philharmonic Orchestra and music director of both the Federal Way Youth Symphony and Bainbridge Island Youth Orchestra.
“PTSO is essential to the vitality and richness of the arts community on the North Olympic Peninsula,” said Barnes, board treasurer.
The 2019-20 season will include four symphony concerts, each with a unifying theme, plus two performances by the Port Townsend Chamber Orchestra comprised of PTSO players.
Here is the schedule:
• Oct. 27, 2 p.m. — Chimacum High School auditorium, 91 West Valley Road. New World: Featuring Fanfare for the Common Man by Copland, Bassoon Concerto in B-flat major, (2nd movement) by Mozart with soloist Dave Krabill, and the Symphony No. 9 in E minor, “From the New World” by Dvorak.
• Dec. 7, 7:30 p.m. — Chimacum High School auditorium. The Grand Finale: Featuring Radetzky March by Strauss with Phil Andrus conducting, Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky, and the Violin Concerto in E minor by Mendelssohn with soloist Myroslava Khomik.
• Feb. 23, 2 p.m. — Chimacum High School auditorium. Literature in Music: Featuring Merry Wives of Windsor Overture by Nicolai, Romeo and Juliet Fantasy by Tchaikovsky, and Pelleas and Melisande by Faure. Guest artists from Port Townsend High School Orchestra will perform.
• April 26, 2 p.m. — Chimacum High School auditorium. Acclaimed Masterpieces: Featuring Gaelic Symphony by Beach, Trumpet Concerto in A-flat major by Arutunian with soloist Erick Jovel and the Young Artist Competition winner and soloist.
• June 6, 7 p.m. — Finnriver Farm and Cidery, 124 Center Road. Port Townsend Chamber Orchestra: Featuring Waltz by Shostakovich, Concertino for Oboe and Strings by Blauth with soloist Anne Krabill, and Violin Concerto No. 4 by Mozart with soloist Roman Yearian.
• June 7, 2 p.m. — Port Townsend High School auditorium, 1500 Van Ness St. Port Townsend Chamber Orchestra: Same program as June 6.
For additional details and updates, check the website.