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UVMC’s Orchestra Debuts Name: Upper Valley Symphony Orchestra

The Upper Valley Music Center’s community orchestra will perform under a new name at their spring concert on Sunday, April 14. UVMC has sponsored an orchestra since 2008. For sixteen years players have found joy in learning great music together, finding their place within the ensemble, and performing for their neighbors in the Upper Valley.

Recognition of the growth of the orchestra and the breadth of repertoire inspired a change in the ensemble’s name from the Upper Valley Chamber Orchestra to the Upper Valley Symphony Orchestra. After pausing during the pandemic and resuming rehearsals cautiously in 2021, membership in the orchestra has grown to approximately 50 musicians in the current season.

History: The ensemble started as a “reading” orchestra, with the very first concert performed in the spring of 2010 featuring Hadyn’s Symphony No. 104, the Mozart Horn Concerto in Eb and the Mozart Impresario Overture. Since that time, the ensemble has performed 26 concerts with a broad selection of music, from the masters of past centuries such as Mozart, Hadyn, and Beethoven, to the last century compositions of Vaughn Williams, Grieg, and Copland. Troy Peters launched the program, and from 2008 to 2017, David Wysocki conducted and inaugurated the public concerts series. In 2018 the current conductor, Mark Nelson, assumed leadership and has challenged the orchestra to scale new musical heights.

Current concert details: The ensemble strives to both honor the past and embrace the music of our own time, and the April concert program reflects those two goals. In Ralph Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending, inspired by an 1881 poem of the same name, the violin solo will be performed by UVSO concertmaster and Hanover High School orchestra conductor Marshall Meade. In Gabriela Ortiz’s Kauyumari, commissioned by the LA Philharmonic as a celebration of the post-pandemic return to the stage, inspiration comes from the spiritual guides of the Huichol people of Mexico and their traditional music. Haydn’s symphony and Janáček’s fanfare round out the concert with music full of grandeur and joy.

Led by conductor Mark Nelson, the ensemble is open to any community member, with no auditions. Members range from 16 to 89 years of age and come from all parts of the community: academia, agriculture, nonprofit, service and manufacturing industries, and those who are retired. The love of the music unites this ensemble, and their enthusiasm will be on display during the April concert.