The Brantford Community Symphony Orchestra will be performing at the Bell Homestead during the Symphony Under the Stars event on Thursday, August 25.
“We’ll be playing a combination of genres at this performance,” conductor Deb McLoughlin said. “We have some classical repertoire in our program, like Beethoven and Bach, along with contemporary pieces from modern composers, pop pieces and some film and Broadway favourites.”
The group consists of 40 musicians playing string, woodwind, brass and percussion instruments.
“We have a very wide range of age and experience,” McLoughlin said. “Our youngest member is 18 and our oldest is 80 plus. Some people have been playing for a couple of years, while others have been playing for decades.”
Members of the orchestra come from Brantford, Paris, Port Dover, Burlington and Normandale.
The group was founded in 2012 in response to a desire for an organization that people could play in, that was not necessarily a professional orchestra.
“We wanted a community-based group where anyone could join that wanted to play orchestral music,” she said.
The symphony was adopted by the Brantford School of Instrumental Music (BSIM) in 2014. The BSIM began in the 1930s to teach young boys to play instruments. The organization has grown to include everyone that wants to learn.
“We operate several different classes, including a beginner and a second-year,” McLoughlin said. “There is a band that second-year students play in called the Bell City Band. From there, students gradually work their way up to the Memorial Concert Band. Once they have a few years of experience, they can come into the orchestra. There are performing ensembles to play in at every level.”
The Symphony Under the Stars performance begins at 7 p.m. on Thursday, August 25 at the Bell Homestead. The show is free however donations toward the BSIM will be accepted following the show. Attendees are asked to bring their own lawn chair to enjoy the show.