Musicians in the Portsmouth Wind Symphony have been gearing up for their upcoming ‘Music From Around World,’ concert, which will be held Oct. 9 at 3 p.m. at the Eloise Covert Smith Theater within the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts.
“We’ve got music chosen from different parts of the world, in different styles,” said Director, Terry Thompson. “We’ve got several pieces from Europe, two from Russia, several American tunes, South American tunes, music from the Far East and we’ve even got a special song, that revolves around the seventh continent, Antarctica. It was hard to find a composer from Antarctica, but we did.”
The Portsmouth Wind Symphony formed over 24 years ago and has continued to provide the region with family-friendly, affordable entertainment.
The only requirement for joining the symphony is the ability to play an instrument.
“There are no auditions, this is a community band. It’s open to anyone who played an instrument in high school or college,” said Thompson. “Our youngest member is 16 and our oldest member is 86, believe it or not. We have some high school and middle school band directors, retired music teachers, but the majority of the folks who participate are those who played an instrument in their high school band and enjoyed that experience and wanted to keep playing.”
Member Keneda Keeton falls into the latter, Keeton is a clarinet player and participated in the band program at Minford Middle School. Keeton continued into high school, spending a total of eight years in the program. After completing high-school, Keeton took a four-year hiatus from music.
“I stopped playing four years after high school,” said Keeton. “I heard about the symphony, and I came here and I’m not as good as I used to be, but they work with you. This is the first concert I’m going to be in, because they cancelled the Fourth of July concert due to the weather. I’m pretty excited.”
The group practices every Monday night at 7 p.m. in the Howland Recital Hall on the third-floor of the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts.
“We do four concerts throughout the year, this is our Fall concert. The next concert will be our Christmas Concert in December,” said Thompson. “We do a Spring concert in April, and we typically do a Fourth of July concert in Tracy Park, but it was cancelled this year due to rain. We also play for graduation here at Shawnee in May.”
Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for SSU students and teens and children 12 and under are admitted free. Tickets will be available at the McKinley Box Office, by calling 740-351-3600. McKinley Box Office hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Tickets will also be available at the door the day of the event.
“We’re really making an effort to get the word out, people are really busy these days,” Thompson explained. “The world is spinning faster and faster and the opportunity to hear live music, like this is becoming less of an option for folks.”
For more information about the Portsmouth Wind Symphony, you can go online to their website, www.portsmouthwindsymphony.com, you can also find the group on Facebook by searching, “Portsmouth Wind Symphony.”
Reach Ciara Conley at 740-981-6977, Facebook “Ciara Conley - Daily Times,” and Twitter @PDT_Ciara.