OLLI Orchestra to present ‘London’ concert | TheUnion.com

OLLI Orchestra to present ‘London’ concert


WHO: OLLI Orchestra (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute)

WHAT: OLLI Orchestra’s Concert “London”

WHEN: Friday, May 17, 7:30-9 p.m.

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

TICKETS & INFO: Free, tickets not required. Free parking at the college on Friday evenings. Follow signs at entrance. For more information, visit http://www.olliorchestra.org

Every minute of OLLI Orchestra’s spring concert represents 43 hours of work. The musicians have practiced and rehearsed since January for their 90-minute performance on May 17.

Figuring a bare minimum of $10 per hour, the concert is worth $38,700. For you, the concert is free. Remarkable!

OLLI, Nevada County’s community orchestra, performs Haydn’s Symphony No. 104 “London” at Sierra College. Works by Mozart, Schumann and Americans Samuel Barber and Leroy Anderson are also on the program. The group has performed continually since 1978. Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) adopted it in 2005.

The volunteer musicians represent beginners through experienced pros. A few of them have played with the orchestra for many years.

Beverly Marks joined the orchestra in 1982 as first violinist.

“I studied piano at age three and violin at nine. Then as an adult living here, I received my Masters of Arts in Voice from University of Nevada in Reno,” she said.

The musical talents of Marks have contributed much to the youth culture in our community. She’s been the musical director and accompanist for the children’s musical theatre Performing Arts Guild for the past 27 years. While primarily a voice instructor, she has also worked in our community as a choir director, accompanist, actress, singer and violinist.

“I love our little orchestra! We play music that’s accessible to everyone. Steve Miller chooses interesting, diverse and enjoyable pieces,” said Marks.

Another “oldtimer,” Terry Horlick, was the first pediatric dentist in Nevada County. Growing up in Southern California, Horlick “snuck a toot” on his mother’s saxophone when he was five. His mom signed him up for piano and clarinet lessons, hoping to direct him away from the sax. Refusing to practice those instruments, he taught himself saxophone.

Leaping forward to 1982, after establishing his dental practice here, Horlick played alto, baritone and soprano sax in a variety of local groups. His favorite is big band music but he usually plays clarinet with OLLI.

“I play with OLLI when needed. If there’s a young player that wants the experience, I’ll bow out for that term. This year, a new clarinet player joined and a flutist left, so I picked up the flute.

“Playing music helps my brain stay sharp; it’s relaxing,” Horlick added. He has also sat in for percussion, plays oboe and maybe a few instruments he forgot to mention.

A versatile musician who also began playing piano at three, Judy Clarence has sung and played violin nearly her entire life. She’s performed in Master Chorale, orchestras and chamber groups in the Bay Area. Her favorite is early music.

“I’m impressed how hard people have worked for OLLI. It’s inspiring to see musicians pick up their instruments after retiring. Steve Miller encourages everyone,” said Clarence. “Youth orchestras are dear to my heart. Playing violin was an incredible experience that molded my entire childhood.”

OLLI viola player Marge Shasberger is the Music in the Mountains Education Administrator. She organizes the Youth Orchestra (MIMYO). Students work on classical repertoire during weekly rehearsals and give three public concerts annually.

“We offer beginners and advanced students a place to hone their craft. When a child’s musical talent or interest comes to light,” said Shasberger, “MIMYO steps in. I hope the youth that attend our OLLI concert find inspiration in the music and consider joining the youth orchestra and then OLLI.”

OLLI Orchestra’s concert is an educational opportunity for families. It will be a fairly short performance, with no intermission. Maestro Miller explains each piece as the concert progresses.

“We work hard to play beautiful music together,” said Judy Clarence.

Beverly Marks added, “OLLI exemplifies humility and education; I’m happy to be a part of it!”

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