WEEKEND: PT Community Orchestra free concert Saturday

WEEKEND: PT Community Orchestra free concert Saturday

CHIMACUM — The Port Townsend Community Orchestra, an all-volunteer ensemble of 60 musicians led by maestro Dewey Ehling, will celebrate its 25th anniversary season with another free concert this Saturday night.

As always, Ehling will give a short talk on the evening’s music — this time including works by French, American and English composers — at 6:45 p.m. The performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Chimacum High School Auditorium, 91 West Valley Road.

The featured soloist is clarinetist Miles Vokurka, a Port Townsender born in Kladno, Czechoslovakia, to an American mother and Czech musician father. To escape the communist takeover of their country, the family moved to Chicago in 1948, and Vokurka went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in music education and a master’s in clarinet performance from Northwestern University.

Norfolk Rhapsody

On Saturday night, Vokurka and the orchestra will offer the Concertino in E-flat by the Romantic composer Carl Maria von Weber, and Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Norfolk Rhapsody No. 1, a tone-poem inspired by the coastal countryside of England.

The early French piece is Etienne Mehul’s 1797 “La Chasse du Jeune Henri,” to highlight the orchestra’s horn section. In counterpoint is Aaron Copland’s contemporary “Fanfare for the Common Man” from 1942.

This season, Ehling has a new plan: performing a single movement of a major symphonic piece at each of the orchestra’s four concerts, in October, December, February and April. In this, the conductor hopes to give both the musicians and the listeners a chance to get to know the work more fully, while allowing time for reflection on each part of it.

The piece chosen for this season is the “Symphony No. 2 in B minor” by Russian composer Alexander Borodin, so the orchestra will perform the dynamic first movement Saturday night.

The Port Townsend Community Orchestra, founded in 1987, is composed of players from high school age to seniors, as in the case of Pearl Harbor survivor Tom Berg, 90, who plays the same violin he had with him during the bombing Dec. 7, 1941.

The orchestra lives on support from local businesses and patrons. There’s no admission charge to its performances, though donations are accepted at the door of the Chimacum High auditorium.

Children are welcome at each of the orchestra’s concerts, which have themes: “Let’s Get Started” this Saturday, “Holiday Time” on Dec. 1, “Russian with a Sprinkling of English” on Feb. 23 and the season finale, “A Night at the Opera” on April 27.

To learn more, visit www.PortTownsend

CommunityOrchestra.org.

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