Columbia Orchestra goes for the big scores

Columbia Orchestra goes for the big scores
Jeremy Hess

The Columbia Orchestra's Symphonic Pops concert offers something for everyone on Saturday, May 16, at 7:30 p.m. at the Jim Rouse Theatre at Wilde Lake High School. This season-ending program offers selections from movie scores and Broadway shows, jazz tunes, and a classical excerpt too.

"It all balances out nicely," said Columbia Orchestra music director Jason Love. "At a classical concert, pieces will last for 20 minutes or 40 minutes, but with a pops concert you expect three-minute bursts."


Love has arranged the program so that the numerous short pieces and excerpts from longer pieces hold together as an overall concert experience; and his spoken introductions also will provide links between the many pieces on the program.

The Columbia Orchestra's music director and his musicians will be joined by some performers with strong Howard County connections. The 26-member Columbia Jazz Band participates in part of the program; and violinist Jeremy Hess, the orchestra's 2015 Young Artist Competition Senior Strings Division winner, also appears for a classical selection.

The program also features a singer from Baltimore, Delores King Williams, who now performs internationally. Williams was a semi-finalist in the Thelonious Monk Vocal Competition and a winner of the Billie Holiday Vocal Competition. She tours with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra doing a "Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald" program. She also performs with the Capitol Steps, a Washington-based musical and political satire group.

These diverse musicians are participating in an eclectic program whose movie scores include "Star Wars" and James Bond films; Broadway scores include "Into the Woods," "Porgy and Bess" and "Carousel"; and jazz pieces include a "Ladies of Jazz" medley.

Where classical music is concerned, the first movement from Wieniawski's Concerto No. 2 in D Minor will be performed by Jeremy Hess. He is a sophomore at Glenelg High School.

The upcoming Columbia Orchestra concert actually marks his second time performing with it. He made his June 2013 debut with Columbia Orchestra as the Junior Strings Division winner of the Young Artist Competition.

Hess began his violin lessons with Ronald Mutchnik, a well-known musician, teacher and music director in Howard County. He went on to study at the Peabody Preparatory String program, and currently studies with Rebecca Henry.

Among his honors, Hess was the 2013 first prize winner of the Friday Morning Music Club High School Competition for Strings; and in 2014 was the second prize winner at the Jack Weaver Memorial Competition.

Hess has performed at the Kennedy Center, Walters Art Museum, Strathmore Mansion, New England Conservatory and New York City's Bryant Park.

"He's a very talented young guy, with musical maturity that is beyond his years," music director Jason Love said of him.

The Columbia Orchestra performs on Saturday, May 16, at 7:30 p.m. at the Jim Rouse Theatre at Wilde Lake High School, 5460 Trumpeter Road in Columbia. Tickets are $25 and $20, $21 and $16 for seniors, and $12 and $10 for students. Call 410-465-8777 or go to