By Editor Terry Hagerty
When youth take the stage this Saturday and Sunday at Calvary Episcopal Church for “A Spring Concert of Americana,” they will have put in many hours of intense rehearsals. “These kids have been practicing since February, rehearsing together every week and almost every day by themselves at home to get ready for this concert,” said Mary Cay Schultz, conductor of the Bastrop Student Orchestra and an instructor with the Bastrop Academy of Music.
One of the youngest members of the student orchestra is Lorelei Bordonaro, an eight-year-old Mina Elementary School student, who was a study in concentration in her bright blue glasses as she played the violin at Calvary during a practice on a Tuesday evening. “These youth are amazing,” Schultz said. “We are making music that they can all play together, because it’s all levels of playing ability here. It’s a fun challenge to conduct them.”
The Youth Orchestra will be one part of the concert lineup with separate performances by the Bastrop Community Chorus and Orchestra, and the Main Street American Swing Band, both conducted by Jeff Brister, founder of the Bastrop Academy of Music. Among its selections, the program in its eighth year will include the music of American composers Leonard Berstein, Aaron Copland and George Gershwin. Brister complimented the work of Schultz with the Student Orchestra. “Mary wrote and arranged all of the music they will be performing – it’s really quite good,” Brister said. The Community Orchestra, which teams adults with youth musicians with more music experience, will play “Simple Gifts” from Copland’s orchestral suite, “Appalachian Springs.” It is originally a song from the Shaker community whose melody Copland adapted. The orchestra/chorus will also perform George Gershwin’s “An American in Paris.”
The concert is Saturday, May 6 at 7:30 p.m., with an additional performance on Sunday, May 7 at 4 p.m. Calvary Episcopal is at 603 Spring St. Admission is $10, which includes light food. “We always throw down a good spread,” Brister declared. “We’ll have hors d’oeuvres – fruit, cold cuts, sweets.” (All Photos Copyright 2017 by Terry Hagerty Photography)