Get a behind-the-scenes look at how an orchestra works

Howard County Times

Music is in the air, and November brings a wealth of opportunities to enjoy live music in the Clarksville area.

For a behind-the-scenes look at the music-making process, the Columbia Orchestra will hold an open rehearsal on Monday, Nov. 12, to prepare for its upcoming concert, “Visions of Home.”

The volunteer adult community orchestra is dedicated to fostering a “lifelong appreciation of, enthusiasm for and participation in music.” One of the ways that they do so is by offering an insiders’ peek at the creative and collaborative process of putting a concert together.

The open rehearsal is not just a run-through before the concert. It is an actual working practice session—mistakes and all. Watch Maestro Jason Love’s interpretation of these pieces unfold with his talented group of musicians.

The rehearsal will be held at The Gathering Place, 6120 Daylong Lane, from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Audience members can enjoy wine and cheese and are invited to mingle with the orchestra musicians during their break around 8:30 p.m. Listeners may come and go as they please. For more information on the Columbia Orchestra, go to columbiaorchestra.org.

For a more polished experience, the prize-winning, internationally recognized Omer String Quartet will perform Haydn and Debussy in a Candlelight Concert on Saturday, Nov. 17, at 7:30 p.m., in the historic 1889 St. Louis Chapel in Clarksville.

The quartet, which is made up of violinists Mason Yu and Erica Tursi, violist Jinsun Hong and cellist Alex Cox, is a community-minded group. They brought the Music for Food Initiative to the Washington area to benefit the University of Maryland Campus Pantry. Seating is limited at the event. Reserved tickets are available for $10 at stlconcertseries.org.

The River Hill High School Music Department will hold its Prism Concert on Saturday, Nov. 17, at 7 p.m., in the auditorium. According to Michael Blackman, RHHS band director, “this is the most awesome thing we do all year.”

The fast-paced, musical extravaganza features all of the musical groups in the school—band, chorus and orchestra—performing a concert full of music from the movies. Entrance is free.

The River Hill musicians also serve the community. A student-run club, Songs for Seniors, visits local retirement communities twice a month to play for the residents. Students pick their own music and perform duets, trios and quartets, often branching out into genres that are not part of their formal studies, such as pop and jazz. Blackman serves as the advisor of the club and was amazed when a student proposed the idea to him five years ago. “How could I say no?” he said. “Music is a gift to give away.”

Last but not least, music also will be featured at the grand opening celebration for The Common Kitchen, Howard County’s first food hall and marketplace. Musical performances by local schools will entertain attendees on Saturday, Nov. 10, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The food hall is a trendy new concept that currently includes five local eateries that share a commercial kitchen and dining space for patrons. This upscale version of a food court is a treat to find outside of an urban setting. More shops will be opening soon including.

The event will include food samples and the chance to win prizes for local products. The Common Kitchen is at 12250 Clarksville Pike inside the Clarksville Commons.

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