Community orchestra hosts concert honoring veterans

Published 7:50 pm Thursday, November 8, 2018

The marches of John Philip Sousa, the patriotic songs each American learned as a child — these are the offerings of a Sunday concert honoring veterans.

The Beaufort County Community Orchestra is set to play on Arts of the Pamlico’s Turnage Theatre stage at 3 p.m. Sunday. The public is invited, and the event is free, though donations are accepted.

In addition to Sousa, the concert’s program includes The Star Spangled Banner, Armed Forces on Parade, God Bless America, The Liberty Bell, Shenandoah, Appalachia Waltz — with a solo by conductor Chris Ellis — and many other patriotic, and recognizable, favorites.

According to Ellen Ratcliffe, a violinist with the orchestra, the music included on the program is a toe-tapping way to show off BCCO’s brass section. With players such as French horn player Richard Cooper, whose had both a career in a performing with volunteer community groups, in addition to a government career that has taken him across the world, and trombonist Todd Williamson, who has played for 53 years, learning the instrument when he was in fifth-grade, the orchestra is a dedicated and seasoned group.

BCCO is a group of volunteer musicians, who range in age from high schoolers to seniors. Each year, they play several concerts for the public. According to Williamson, it’s fun and the group welcomes new players.

“You’re never too old to play. Come on, we need you,” Williamson said.