Community orchestra performs annual spring concert

Published 6:34 pm Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Handel, Beethoven, Haydn, a few pop tunes and a guest conductor define the Beaufort County Community Orchestra’s spring concert slated for Friday.

Hosted by First Baptist Church of Washington, the concert performed by an all-volunteer orchestra is set for 7 p.m. Highlights include Beaufort County Choral Society Director Stephen Brand stepping in for orchestra Director Chris Ellis, as Ellis solos on violin during Beethoven’s Roman for violin and Orchestra in G Major, Op. 40.

For decades, amateur musicians have been coming together to practice, then perform, music in two free concerts a year. Started by Belhaven resident Dores Hamilton, the orchestra had its beginnings in accompanying the Easter production of Handel’s “Messiah” in Terra Ceia each spring.

CONCERT MISTRESS: Lois Omonde practices one of the pieces to be performed during the Beaufort County Community Orchestra’s spring concert Friday night at First Baptist Church in Washington. (BCCO)

Several members have been performing with the orchestra for many years, including concert mistress Lois Omonde, who has playing violin since fourth grade and has since gone on to share her skill with her own students, both in private string lessons in the classroom at the Washington Montessori Public Charter School. One of those students is Amy Arnold, who heard Omonde play violin at a wedding when she was six years old, which launched 10 years of violin lessons, according to orchestra publicity manager Ellen Ratcliffe. Friday, teacher and student will play together for pieces such as Handel’s “Water Music,” Haydn’s symphonies No. 67 and No. 89, as well as Scott Joplin’s “The Entertainer.”

Friday’s concert is free and open to the public. First Baptist Church is located at the corner of Harvey and East Main streets in Washington.