FLORENCE — The stage is set for the 74th season for the Florence Symphony Orchestra to begin. The five concerts in the FSO’s 2022/23 season “Symphonic Soul” feature a diverse and exciting lineup.
This season starts Oct. 10 with the FSO performing Mozart and Mahler’s first symphonies.
“The Mahler composition has long been on my wish list to perform,” Music Director Terry Roberts said.
The amount of musicians playing this piece is larger than a classical orchestra, doubling the wind and brass sections. This makes for a brilliant and full sound, especially at the end of the symphony, he said.
On Nov. 14, an innovative ensemble of five female brass musicians, “Seraph Brass,” will perform with the FSO.”
Seraph Brass also will hold a workshop with Francis Marion University students and have a special performance the following evening in the FMU Performing Art Centers Black Box theater.
The Holiday Pops concert on Dec. 13, traditionally one of the FSO’s most popular concerts of the year, will feature local singers Amesha McElveen, Jerinda Davis and Estelle Hyman.
This trio was featured in the 2020 Florence Little Theater production of Dream Girls.
Pianist Mackenzie Melemed will return to the FSO from Finland to perform Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 on Feb. 13.
Melemed, a Steinway Artist, has performed in venues such as The White House, Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Warsaw Philharmonic Hall and the Helsinki Music Centre.
The April pops concert will feature the greatest hits from Earth, Wind and Fire when Las Vegas group “Serpentine Fire” joins the FSO. Featured songs Include: September, Boogie Wonderland, Let’s Groove, After the Love has Gone and many more.
The April pops concert is scheduled for April 17.
A Star Wars themed family-friendly concert will be performed on March 5. Before the family concert, children have the opportunity to experience an “instrument petting zoo.”
They get and up-close look at the instruments demonstrated by the FSO musicians. The concert will be repeated for area fourth graders to attend. “Music programs in the schools start in fifth and sixth grades. By exposing children of this age to a live symphony performance we hope to inspire and show them what is possible if they stick with an instrument,” said Pamela Glass, FSO executive director.
“The symphony plays a huge role in our musicians lives. Some of them have been with the FSO for over 40 years. This season marks Dr. Terry Roberts 20th season with the FSO,” said Glass. The nearly 70 musicians that play with the FSO are from the Florence area and throughout the state. They come from all areas of the community working as teachers, doctors, engineers, etc.
“I am very proud of the musicians and all their hard work. Florence is blessed to have a wealth of talented artist in the community which I like to promote as much as possible,” said Roberts. “The arts directly influence the quality of life in any community, not just music, but all of the arts,” he added. “It is important to support the arts, not just financially, but with attendance and/or participation. The arts are not an expense, but an investment in the community.”
The Florence Symphony Orchestra is supported by donations, grants and ticket sales.
“We are actively looking for a few more corporate sponsors for this year’s season. Corporate sponsors play an important role in keeping the symphony solvent and ticket prices reasonable,” said Glass. “There are many levels of support, from benefactors to full concert sponsors. Companies can also sponsor the guest artists. This season, the guest artist fees range from $3,000—$15,000. Donations are tax deductible and sponsors receive season tickets and recognition in the programs. “We want the symphony to be accessible for everyone and corporate sponsorships make this possible.”
Ticket packages start at $25 per concert. They are available by calling the FMU Performing Arts Center ticket office between noon and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 843-661-4444.
View the FSO’s 2022/2023 season brochure: www.florencesymphony.com.
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