For the love of music
By PENNY FLETCHER
SOUTH COUNTY- While the various communities in
A ministry of the United Methodist Church of Sun City Center, the group is made up of musicians born in nine different decades and plays a range of music from Broadway to pop to the symphonies of Bach, Beethoven and Brahms. They come from all over
They come because the group is unique in its work, music and mission.
It’s founder, Dominick Galati, a partially-retired musician’s booking agent, didn’t intend to begin such a large project when he gathered a group of musicians at the
Dom said he thought the group sounded like a small orchestra.
“I have been thinking of starting a symphony,” Dom said to Jeff that day. “How would you like to be the conductor?”
Jeff said he wasn’t sure right away. After all, he and his wife Amanda and their children had just moved to the area and he was busy with his new job at the church.
By the next day, however, when the two spoke again, they decided to try and began recruiting musicians on line and by word of mouth.
It took almost 10 weeks to gather 40 musicians who could represent most major sections of a real orchestra. The interesting thing was that they ranged in age from 20 to their late 80s.
“It’s such a thrill to see the generations sitting next to each other. You can look at the sections and see an 80-something next to someone who’s barely 20. They can learn from each other and the younger ones definitely can use the wealth of experience the older ones offer.”
So far, the group has performed six concerts and is now preparing for one Feb. 27 at the church, 2010
They’re planning patriotic songs like The Star Spangled Banner and
“The performers barely make their gas money,”
The orchestra has been in existence now for just over one year having begun its performances in February 2010 and Jordan says is still a ministry of the church. There are about 60 players when everyone is there but most of the time between 40 and 50 will perform at a time.
“It depends on the piece,”
He also still runs his music booking business, which is separate.
Ken Watts, director of the worship team at Holy Innocents Episcopal Church in Valrico, is also an associate conductor, and June Hammond, an associate professor of music at
Proceeds from concert revenues are used towards create college scholarships for local high school students planning to major in music. Scholarship recipients must plan to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree from a four-year accredited college or university and intend to major in the field of music education or instruments performance to be eligible,
As it progresses, the symphony orchestra will be a source of part-time employment for the performers while providing cultural enrichment to all who live in the area from Brandon and Valrico south past the Manatee County line, Jordan said.