Gwinnett Symphony Orchestra

The Gwinnett Symphony Musical Arts Consortium begins its 2021-2022 Season with “All Beethoven,” featuring the Gwinnett Symphony Orchestra, at the Discovery Theatre in Norcross Sept. 19 at 5 p.m.

What better way to begin a season of concerts than by performing Beethoven’s heroic Symphony No. 3, with all of its energy and passion?

The Gwinnett Symphony Chamber Orchestra will open the upcoming season with “All Beethoven,” a concert held at the Discovery Theater in Norcross beginning at 5 p.m. on Sept. 19.

The concert will be conducted by Gregory Pritchard and features guest violinist Nancy Schechter and guest conductor Kenny Lee. Also on the program are Beethoven’s “Egmont Overture” and “Romance in F Major.”

“The name Consortium came into being as we expanded our ensembles beyond the Symphony Orchestra, Chorus, and Youth Orchestra,” Robert Trocina, artistic director of the Gwinnett Symphony Musical Arts Consortium and music director of the Gwinnett Symphony Orchestra, said.

“We wanted to add additional ensembles and experiences to expand our performing membership as well as our audience base. Thus, the birth of the Gwinnett Symphony Wind Orchestra and Gwinnett Symphony Jazz Orchestra.”

Trocina said the change spurs creativity.

“The concept of the consortium gives each ensemble and director the opportunity to be creative in their own musical programming and concert ideas while still performing under one master concert season with all consortium ensembles,” he said.

“The first three concerts are special and unique in that the audience will experience many of our Consortium Ensembles in performance. The first concert, ‘All Beethoven,’ will consist of an orchestra of approximately 50 musicians.”

The second concert, held Oct. 17 is called “Back to Back” and will feature a larger symphony orchestra of approximately 65 to 70 musicians and the string section of the Youth Orchestra.

“This concert is split, beginning with the Gwinnett Symphony performing the spectacular music of Sibelius,” Trocina said. “After intermission, the Youth Orchestra strings will perform their fall concert.

“We have designed many of our symphony concerts as ‘education concerts’ that afford our youth to learn about the composers and music performed by our symphony orchestra.”

The third concert on Oct. 24 is titled “Potpourri” and includes a reduced edition of the symphony chorus and the “chamber singers” — featuring 16 to 20 auditioned singers.

“After intermission, the stage will be filled with our wind orchestra which consist of approximately 60 of Atlanta’s finest woodwind, brass and percussionists,” Trocina said.

All of the concerts will take place at the Discovery Theater, which is located in Norcross at 219 Lawrenceville St. NW.

Emphasis on young artists has always been a priority for the nonprofit organization.

Rick Smith, the consortium’s executive director and Gwinnett Symphony Chorus conductor, said: “Our Youth Orchestra has been a life-changing experience for many young players over the years. Dr. Gregory Pritchard has nurtured this program with passion and excellence.

“Our ensembles do not turn away young musicians due to financial hardship. We have a scholarship and work study program, and we received a grant from The Seed and Feed Marching Abominable Endowment, Inc. to help fund this program.”

For information about the entire season of concerts and opportunities for musicians of all ages, visit www.gwinnettsymphony.org

Holley Calmes is a freelance writer and public relations consultant specializing in the arts. Email her at hcalmes@ mindspring.com.

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