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What’s your musical cup of tea?: OLLI Orchestra to host spring concert

 

Your “cuppa” might include hearing the world premiere of a Ukrainian folk song arranged just for OLLI Orchestra. Flutist George Husaruk joined the orchestra this year. He adapted the traditional Ukrainian melody “Life Is a Stormy Sea” because both parents were born in that war-ravished country. “I have lots of relatives living in Ukraine. This is my heartfelt response to the suffering of my family and all Ukrainians.”

OLLI Orchestra’s new conductor Wayland Whitney said, “It’s our responsibility to bring attention to this crisis in Ukraine. I’m glad we can accomplish that while supporting one of our own musicians.”

Other music set for performance includes the dramatic and lyrical “The Merry Wives of Windsor Overture” by Otto Nicolai and Schubert’s Symphony No. 8.



Franz Schubert wrote this “Unfinished Symphony” when he was 25 years old. He gave the pages to a friend who kept the work secret for 42 years. Theories abound as to why Schubert didn’t finish it. Some experts think he simply ran out of ideas. Others claim he forgot about it. “This music is strikingly fresh and dramatic, full of warmth,” wrote blogger Sebastian Mitchell.

Most audiences will recognize “West Side Story, Selections for Orchestra,” written by Leonard Bernstein. Maestro Whitney included this favorite because “It’s fun to have at least one piece in the program that everyone knows well and probably even loves.”



OLLI Orchestra was founded in 1978 as a true community orchestra. “The impulse to establish community orchestras comes from the ground up,” wrote Ann Meier Baker, Director of Music & Opera at the National Endowment for the Arts. “The quality of playing in many community groups is quite high, and community orchestras often display a special sense of joy and love for the music, which is recognized by the audience.”

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Sierra College sponsors the orchestra. The college provides rehearsal and performance space and engages the conductor. After many successful years and a few rough ones, the orchestra has thrived under OLLI.

The musicians who comprise OLLI Orchestra range in age from 15 to 88. More than half the group joined this year, excited to get back to purposeful socializing. Orchestra members who have played together for many years appear charged up as well. “I love seeing all the new faces, and getting to catch up with people I hadn’t seen during our extended break,” said violinist Kim Uchibori.

OLLI Orchestra’s concert takes place Sunday, May 22, at 2 p.m. at Sierra College, Nevada County Campus. Both the concert and parking are free. Tickets aren’t required. There will be signs posted at the entrance to the college directing visitors to the Multipurpose Room N12.

The one-hour concert will be followed by a reception where cake and cups of iced tea will be served. Vaccination records won’t be checked. Guests who haven’t been vaccinated are asked, but not required, to wear a mask.

Source: OLLI Orchestra

OLLI Orchestra’s concert takes place Sunday, May 22, at 2 p.m. at Sierra College, Nevada County Campus. Both the concert and parking are free. Tickets aren’t required.
Photo by Britta Tigan
OLLI Orchestra’s new conductor Wayland Whitney said, “It's our responsibility to bring attention to this crisis in Ukraine. I'm glad we can accomplish that while supporting one of our own musicians.”
Photo by Britta Tigan

KNOW & GO

WHO: OLLI Orchestra, Nevada County’s Community Orchestra

WHAT: OLLI Orchestra’s Concert “What’s Your Musical Cup of Tea?”

WHEN: Sunday, May 22, 2-3 p.m. Reception following.

WHERE: Multipurpose Room N12, Sierra College, 250 Sierra College Dr., Grass Valley

TICKETS & INFO: Free, tickets not required. Free parking. Follow signs at entrance. For more information, visit www.olliorchestra.org

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