The following article appeared in this evening’s Warsaw (IN) Times-Union newspaper. Patrick Kavanaugh is the chair of the Grace College music department.
Warsaw Symphony Orchestra’s First Concert Set Sunday
BY TERESA SMITH, Times-Union Staff Writer
WINONA LAKE – Warsaw Symphony Orchestra is off to an enthusiastic start, presenting works by Beethoven, Schubert, Sibelius and Bach for its premier concert Sunday.
Dr. Patrick Kavanaugh, of Christian Performing Artists’ Fellowship and MasterWorks fame, conducts the WSO. When he put out the call for musicians last spring, he worried whether or not he’d have enough players to seat an orchestra.
They came from as far away as Fort Wayne, Huntington and Goshen to audition, although most of the members are from Winona Lake and Warsaw.
Then he worried about whether or not they would practice after selecting such complicated pieces to play.
“They’re rehearsing, they’re right where they should be during rehearsal. The Grace College music students have worked especially hard,” Kavanaugh said, an ethic he expects of the college’s music department students.
The orchestra is populated with high school students, too. The age range is as young as 13 and as experienced as 60.
Some are professionals, some have music degrees and some don’t. In the group are a mother and a son and a brother and a sister. People who attended Grace Community Orchestra performances will see familiar faces.
“We have some very fine players,” he said. “The group is big enough to do symphonies, to play serious music. This first program is ambitious, but we’d rather shoot for the stars.”
Sunday’s program includes Beethoven’s “Coriolan Overture,” Schubert’s “Symphony No. I” the unfinished symphony and Sibelius’ “Finlandia.” Soloists Marvin “Chappie” Perry, principal trumpeter for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and local soprano Tammie Huntington are featured during Bach’s “Cantata No. 51.”
Perry has been with the ISO for 30 years. Huntington is director of voice at Grace College.
“The music industry can be negative and backbiting,” Kavanaugh said, a reality he stresses to young players. “It’s neat to see a lot of musicians loving to play together.”
The orchestra’s premier takes the place of the first Second Sunday Series, sponsored by the Christian Performing Artists’ Fellowship players. The series begins in October and runs through May. The CPAF will continue with its regular schedule in November.
Admission to the 7:30 p.m. concert in Rodeheaver Auditorium is free, although a collection will be taken to offset costs. As the orchestra’s season develops, admission fees may be charged in the future.
“We hope families come out to hear the symphonic orchestra,” Kavanaugh said. “We’re very family-friendly and family-oriented. Come up and talk to the performers.”