OLLI Orchestra to perform Mozart and more in Grass Valley | TheUnion.com

OLLI Orchestra to perform Mozart and more in Grass Valley

Nevada County’s OLLI Orchestra will perform a “Mostly Mozart” program at Sierra College Friday.
Courtesy OLLI Orchestra |

Know & Go

WHO: Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Orchestra

WHAT: Mostly Mozart, all ages free concert

WHEN: 7:30-9 p.m. Friday

WHERE: Multi-Purpose Room, Sierra College, 250 Sierra College Drive, Grass Valley.

TICKETS: Free, tickets not required. (No fee parking at the college on Friday evenings.)

INFO: For more information, visit http://www.olliorchestra.org

Twice a year, Nevada County’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Orchestra — a diverse ensemble of 40 or so mostly elder musicians — offer up free concerts for local music lovers.

This Friday, the ensemble will perform a “Mostly Mozart” program at Sierra College that will include portions of Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro” and Symphony No. 35, as well as selections from Donizetti, Respighi and Leroy Anderson.

The orchestra rehearses year-round and offers local musicians an opportunity to play together, said volunteer publicist Britta Tigan.

According to Tigan, the orchestra got its start as the Sierra Community Symphony, which gained the sponsorship of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in 2005.

“Nevada County has quite a robust history of musical organizations,” she noted.

The orchestra gives musicians a chance to “extend and push themselves while having great fun playing with a group,” said violinist Marilyn Yerkes.

According to conductor and educator Steve Miller, the group “is dedicated to the ensemble. Most of the musicians have had experience playing in different types of groups, from rock and roll bands to symphony orchestras.”

There isn’t an age restriction to join the orchestra, Tigan said, adding that Friday’s concert features two teenage musicians.

“While there is a perennial need for more players, the current group is particularly strong.” Miller said.

“Those with more ability provide a source of inspiration for those who are struggling,” he said. “Everyone works together to provide a finished product of which we can all be proud, regardless of where we are on the continuum of musicianship.”

Oboist Kit Chesnut had high praise for Miller, saying, “He’s gentle and encouraging. A volunteer orchestra doesn’t need a bad-tempered teacher.”

Friday’s concert begins with movements from Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro,” and includes Mozart’s Symphony No. 35, Donizetti’s “Don Pasquale Overture” and Respighi’s “Ancient Dances and Airs.” Anderson’s “Belle of the Ball” concludes the concert.

Miller strives to educate audiences about the music being performed in an attempt to increase the enjoyment. In order to accommodate families, the program is 90 minutes with no intermission.

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