Marquette Symphony Orchestra to hold first concert of season

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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) – The Marquette Symphony Orchestra will hold their first concert of the season, “As American as Baseball and Apple Pie,” in Kaufman Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16.

The concert will include pieces such as Bernstein's Overture to Candide, Copland's Billy the Kid Suite and Gershwin's Strike Up the Band.

The players are all professional or semi-professional musicians, and encompass a range of occupations, from college students to TV6's own morning co-anchor, Andrew LaCombe.

“We're actually, I guess, what's called a regional symphony orchestra, so we don't play every week and we don't play a hundred concerts a year. We play five concerts a year,” said Steve Grugin, principal trombonist and chair of the orchestra’s Artistic Advisory Committee.

One might assume the orchestra meets for months to rehearse. In reality, they begin practicing together less than a week before the performance. Players must learn their parts on their own.

“We have the music. We get the music in advance and the players are expected to be able to play the music,” Grugin said.

The orchestra is currently searching for its next permanent conductor. In the process, they're hosting several guest conductors this year. The first is Russell Vinick, conductor and music director of the Chicago Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, Lake Shore Symphony Orchestra and part-time music faculty member at Columbia College of Chicago. He met the orchestra and conducted his first rehearsal with them Sunday evening.

“It's always interesting to hear what's going to come out of them for their very first sounds, sort of like a first date,” Vinick said. “As you can hear, they're here, so I guess I haven't been stood up.”

Tickets range from $9 to $32. You can get them online, by phone or in person at the Central Ticket Office in the Berry Events Center.

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