Premier set for combined Marion Area Orchestra, Marion Music Club Chorale performance

The Marion community will be treated to a premier program that features the Marion Area Orchestra (MAO) and the Marion Music Club Chorale (MMCC) performing together for the first time on Sunday, May 20, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.. The two music groups will offer a free program of instrumental and vocal music, “Spring Singin’ and Stringin'” at River Valley High School Auditorium, 4280 Marion-Mt. Gilead Rd (Rt 95), Caledonia.

The orchestra was formed in Fall 2016 under the leadership of local musician/retired music educator George Schram, assisted by Inda Lama, River Valley Schools String Director. The chorale was established in 2017 by Carol Becker, director of the a cappella Marion Madrigal Singers and current program vice-president for the Marion Music Club. Schram will conduct the evening’s orchestral and combined orchestra-chorale music.

OSUM Director of Development and Community Relations Dave Claborn will serve as MC/Announcer of the event.

The program will include soloists: Luke Goins, violin, “Fiddle Faddle” by Anderson/Bullock; Steve Patterson, double bass, “Basses Loaded” by Gruselle; and Beth Cumbie, flute, “Oblivion” by Pizzolla/Longfield. Sarah Gold will conduct a small ensemble in “Fill in the Blanks,” by Gruselle.

The orchestra-chorale group will perform “This Train” by G.Walker and “Can’t Buy Me Love” from “Hits by The Beatles”, Arr. Murtha. Selections featuring the orchestra include: “Carmen Suite No. 2”, Bizet/Frost; “Prestadigious Pizzacato”, Del Borgo; “Pilgrim’s Chorus”, Wagner/Bender; and “Anvil Chorus”, Verdi/Dackow. An encore piece will be performed by a trio that includes piano, Jim Besch; bass, Steve Patterson; and percussion, David Johnston.

There had been an orchestra in Marion that appears to have died in the 1960’s. Re-establishment of an orchestra, according to Schram, “had been a dream of mine for about 30 years.” Meantime, Schram carried on about a 38 year music education career of teaching band and orchestra at River Valley Schools for many years and then later at Marion City Schools where he ultimately became orchestra director before his retirement. Schram has also been musical director of many Palace Theatre productions.

Becker is well-known in the Marion area for her vocal solo performances, which included being the soprano soloist for many performances of George F. Handel’s Messiah at Christmas time. She was involved with Palace Theatre productions and taught elementary school gifted and talented students for many years before her retirement from education. She has directed the Marion Madrigal Singers since their establishment in the 1970’s and also has held many leadership positions on the board of Marion Music Club.

Members of the Marion Area Orchestra include:
VIOLIN I: Sara Konvalinka, Alysse Morgason, Amy Eckert, Louise Vance, Luke Goins, Emilee McCabe, Delaney Tabbert VIOLIN II: Sarah Gold, Ty Garrett, Gayle Holback, Candi Scott, Connie Slob, Tatiana Smith, Lynda Schlichting, Esther Levering, Debbie Ebert, Caroline Schram, Ashley Watkins, Annabelle Gandert VIOLA: Dennis Witsberger, Ryan Swartz, Jude Snowden, Indie Lama CELLO: C. Gary Iams, Jenny Kepford, Heather Smith, Erin Rollins, Sandy Maupin, Isaac Dean, Katelyn Grant, Hannah Schlichting BASSES: Steve Patterson, Molly Blevins
PIANO: James Besch PERCUSSION: David Johnston

Members of the Marion Music Club Chorale include:
SOPRANO: Marianne Allen, Carol Becker, Mary Donaldson, Carolyn Fox, Val Hedges, Lorelei Heineman, Stacy Hoch, Jo Ann Zimmerman
ALTO: Sandra Becker, Barb Brewer, Marian Brink, Ruth Coldwell, Patsy Dow, Linda Welch
TENOR: Jim Anderson, George Feltham, Gary Flach, Ned Geckle, Neil Miller
BASS: Bill Becker, Doug Boyer, Duane Kline, David Mansperger, Dennis Swartz, Gabe Vaflor

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