Music director Jason Love will not be wielding his baton when the Columbia Orchestra gives a free chamber concert on Saturday, Nov. 17, at 7:30 p.m., at Christ Episcopal Church, in Columbia.
The nine orchestra members performing in this concert have picked the repertory on their own and also are making their own interpretive decisions about how to play it. Lest you think there has been a palace revolt, Love is all for it.
"There are so many great players in the orchestra and sometimes the individuals are lost in the 90-piece orchestra, so it's great to hear them" in smaller ensembles, Love says.
"The chamber music experience for the performers is a contrast to an orchestra in which the conductor says make this short or long, fiery or calm. With chamber music there is not a conductor as benevolent dictator."
He goes on to explain that in chamber music, the four or five players typically performing a specific piece collectively will decide how they want to play it. "Some of this is done through discussion," Love observes, and "some of it is through trial and error" in rehearsal.
Also, he states, "as in jazz, if somebody goes in a certain direction, the others may follow even though the notes are all written out in advance."
The self-directed performers at the upcoming concert are all members of the full orchestra. There is a string quartet comprised of violinists Paul Li and Elizabeth Horst, violist David Zajic, and cellist Elizabeth Davis; and a brass quintet comprised of trumpets Carl Reynolds and Roy Leierzapf, horn player Anne Ward, trombonist Eugene Bayer, and tuba player Doug Lee.
The intermissionless one-hour concert they have designed will be, says Love, "substantial but not too heavy."
One rarely performed composition on the program is Austrian composer Franz Schmidt's String Quartet. Other pieces include Gershwin's "Lullaby," Ewald's Brass Quintet, Dukas' Fanfare "La Peri," an instrumental version of an aria from the Handel opera "Samson," and even an arrangement of the venerable jazz song "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans."
The Columbia Orchestra performs a chamber concert on Saturday, Nov. 17, at 7:30 p.m., at Christ Episcopal Church, 6800 Oakland Mills Road, in Columbia.
The concert is free, with donations accepted. Call 410-465-8777 or go to http://www.columbiaorchestra.org.