BACK ON STAGE: Lee County Community Orchestra Prepares for Concerts | Archives
The Lee County Community Orchestra is actively preparing for several upcoming performances.
The orchestra will hold two concerts, one at 7:30 p.m. on October 16 and the other at 3 p.m. on October 17 at the Mann Center, 507 N. Steele St. in Sanford.
This year, the orchestra is under the baton of a new conductor, Vincent L. Povázsay. He is no stranger to the group, having worked as an interim conductor and led a chamber ensemble for the group in the past.
The next concert features the music of Beethoven, Dvo??ák, Holmès, Mozart and Strauss.
“The first concert of the year that we call ‘Overture’,” Povázsay said. “It can mean a lot of different things, yes we do a few different openings in the concert, but it’s kind of an opening for the season. This is the first time that we have returned on stage, together in a large orchestra, following the COVID -19 pandemic. We are really excited to be together live – in person – with a full assortment of strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion with a live audience.
Povázsay said the concert was the live, in-person return to the stage for the group.
“Our numbers, especially in the strings section, have increased this year compared to previous seasons,” he said. “We’re doing pretty well with recruiting. COVID-19 has made some players a little skeptical about coming back to join us, they don’t feel quite safe and ready yet. The players we have are masking in rehearsal and we are socially distancing ourselves as much as possible. We take every precaution to help our members feel safe and comfortable and have a safe and healthy work environment.
Povázsay said COVID-19 protocols will be in place during the concert for the orchestra and the audience.
“We demand masks from the public,” he said. “In addition, we will play the show without an intermission. It has become the norm with orchestras to shorten the program and have no intermissions to reduce audience mix and the potential spread of the virus. “
Povázsay said he was happy to be able to take the lead in the orchestra.
“I first worked with the band two years ago to replace their former musical director, Tara Villa Keith, who was on maternity leave,” he said. “It was love at first sight for the group. The second time was last spring, they wanted, despite the pandemic, to do a smaller chamber show. I came back and did a string concert only with them. They just wanted to maintain their skills and prepare for the eventuality that they would return as a full orchestra.
Over the summer, the Lee County Orchestra board met with Povázsay and offered him the job of music director.
“I was happy to get on board and help bring the group together after the pandemic,” he said.
Povázsay also spoke about the music that will be performed.
“It’s a sort of pastiche-type program of various pieces by composers (Beethoven, Mozart, Dvo??ák) that people know and we are also doing a piece by 19th century French composer Augusta Holmès, who was a pupil of César Franck, ”he said. “It is not often played. I didn’t really know his music until I discovered this piece. It is a beautiful piece of 19th century romanticism.
Povázsay said everyone in the orchestra is eager to perform in front of an audience.
“We are very happy to be back on stage, live and in person,” he said. “With all the bands getting things online during the pandemic and doing various plans to stay engaged with their audiences, there’s nothing quite like making music in person, seeing and hearing people on stage doing music. music together. This is what we love and we are very happy to do it.