Waynesboro Symphony Orchestra season begins this weekend

Music Director Peter Wilson and the Waynesboro Symphony Orchestra are applauded after a performance at First Presbyterian Church in Waynesboro.

The Waynesboro Symphony Orchestra will strike up its new season this weekend with performances in Waynesboro on Sunday and in Staunton on Saturday.

“It’s just a bunch of fun overtures that people will recognize,” said Charles Salembier, the orchestra’s board president.

“Great Overtures and Bicentennials” will be performed both days.

Lise Keiter, head of the music department at Mary Baldwin University, will perform a piano solo both days also.

“She is a very, very fine pianist,” Salembier said of Keiter’s talent.

He said he “freaked out” when he heard her play Beethoven’s Piano Concerto no. 5, which is also known as “The Emperor.”

The symphony, which is composed of musicians from age 14 to their 80s from all over the Valley, will perform its 11th year at The Paramount Theater in Charlottesville on Oct. 25 at 7:30 p.m. A reception will be held at 6:30 p.m.

Last year’s performance was a salute to veterans.

This year’s will be “Symphonic Masquerade: An Evening of Fantasy and Flight,” a musical celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

“Every season is exciting as hell. The symphony is so good,” Salembier said.

The symphony, founded in 1996, rehearses locally and performs at local churches for free.

“So it’s truly a community orchestra,” Salembier said.

The Paramount Theater performance is the symphony’s fundraising event.

“That’s income that’s very important to keep the symphony going. Really it’s our only fundraising event in the year,” Salembier said.

Community support of the symphony has always been wonderful, according to Salembier, “and remains critically important.”

Eighty percent of the symphony’s musicians are volunteers.

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