The Ithaca Community Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Madeline Schatz-Harris, will present a concert entitled “Romantically Inclined: Music from the Heart” at at 4 p.m. May 5 at the Hangar Theatre. This concert will feature three soloists as well as the World Premiere of Fragments, a work composed (and conducted) by the orchestra’s own Alexandria Kemp. Soprano Tamara Acosta will perform the “Letter Scene” from Tchaikovsky’s opera Eugene Onegin. Student soloists Owen Cummings and Miranda Werner will perform the first movement of Dvořák’s Cello Concerto in B minor, and the Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso by Saint-Saëns, respectively. In addition, Dr. Schatz-Harris will lead the orchestra in The Hebrides Overture by Mendelssohn. The program will also feature Wagner’s Prelude to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg under the direction of assistant conductor, Aaron Burgess. The public is invited to attend a reception held directly after the concert. A recommended donation of $7 will be accepted at the door, and children are admitted free of charge.
Soprano soloist Tamara Acosta has performed with orchestras in the Finger Lakes, Sarasota, and Xalapa, Mexico, as well as with numerous opera companies throughout the United States. In addition to performing, Tamara is an Assistant Professor of voice at Ithaca College, a visiting lecturer at Cornell University and on faculty at Opus Ithaca.
Cello soloist Owen Cummings, a native of Ithaca, began playing the cello at the age of four and currently studies with John Haines-Eitzen. Owen is a member of the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and is the principal cellist in the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra Youth Orchestra, the Ithaca Talent Education Chamber Orchestra and Cello Choir, and the Ithaca High School Orchestra. He also loves playing chamber music and has attended Greenwood and Kinhaven music camps.
Violin soloist Miranda Werner began violin lessons at the age of seven and currently studies with Linda Case. She is concertmistress of the Binghamton Youth Symphony and has performed with the Binghamton Baroque Orchestra, the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra and the Northern Tier Symphony Orchestra. Miranda has also performed as a soloist with several orchestras and is an active chamber musician, participating in multiple camps and festivals.
Originally from Buffalo, Alexandria Kemp graduated from Ithaca College with a Bachelor’s of Music in Composition in 2016. While there, she studied composition with Dana Wilson and Jorge Grossmann. She has received commendations for her compositions, including the Downey Award for Three Settings on Tennyson, and has had her music performed by the Onondaga Civic Symphony, the Ithaca New Music Collective, and the Society for New Music.
The Ithaca Community Orchestra’s new music director, Dr. Madeline Schatz-Harris, brings to the group a rich experience as music director of professional ensembles, university orchestras, and youth symphonies. She was mentored by Michael Tilson Thomas and Leonard Slatkin and has guest conducted numerous ensembles, including the London (England) Symphony and the Aspen Music Festival Orchestra. As a violinist/violist, she has played in the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, appeared as a soloist with many orchestras, and worked as a Hollywood studio musician. After retiring from her faculty position at the University of Alaska, she moved to relatively balmy upstate New York, where she loves nurturing young musicians at Opus Ithaca.
Since 2001, the Ithaca Community Orchestra has provided a continuous musical experience for talented players from throughout the Ithaca area. The ICO has collaborated with many groups, including the Ithaca Shakespeare Company, Opera Ithaca, and the Ithaca Community Chorus, and has been a participant in Spring Writes and the First Friday Gallery Night. The ICO is a 501(c)(3) organization.
Featured image provided.