Marion Chamber Music Society free chamber concerts in Ocala


chamber concerts ocala fl


free concert series

 2015-2016 Season

March 2016

A Note from Your Music Director and Program Chair

In case anyone does not know who I am, I’m the one up front who does the talking and announcing at the programs.

The response to this year’s programs has been exceptional both in terms of increased attendance and ‘love offering’ support.  And I personally want to thank everyone for your support. We started out our year with the Faculty Piano Trio from Gainesville who performed the rarely heard the emotionally powerful Tchaikovsky Piano Trio. After the holidays we featured “Licorice Sticks” an all clarinet orchestra with added instrumental effects – such as tympani.  It was – in a word a Smash! It was our goal to attract young people – our future supporters of the musical arts – and we did: A record number of students, and many comments from patrons to have this group return – which we will. Next we had Ocala’s own Karen Adair: Another home run; a rich soprano voice with plenty of personality and pizzazz. 

We will close our season with the April 17 concert – which I am personally arranging, as it features many of my own students: The Best of Ocala Piano Conservatory and Friends.  The program will feature senior musician Carolyn Imes. This year’s “friends” are the two Zheng brothers from Gainesville, both young prodigies. Wait till you hear those tiny fingers go to town! In addition to piano, hear local vocal star, Veda Lakshminarayanan. We also will have a section featuring humor in music.  How do composers make music funny? Make people laugh? Well, you’ll have to attend to find out! This is our annual fund raiser where performers typically do not get paid and we get “seed” money for next season’s concerts. 

I am now busy working on next year’s program.  We usually try to do 5 concerts, but our schedule is determined by church use, symphony schedule, important religious holidays, and the public school calendar (kids not in school = families gone).  So this past season it was not possible to have 5.  I will be meeting shortly with Mr. Wardell to see how we can fit around the orchestra schedule.  I can tell you I am lining up a 9 year old piano prodigy from Philadelphia who studies with my teacher, Susan Starr.  Susan, who soloed with the Philadelphia orchestra at age 6 and was/is the youngest Steinway artist at age 8, proclaims this girl to be even more gifted than she was at her age! If you know Susan as I do, this is an Enormous Statement. Patricia’s repertory at 9 is jaw-dropping. I also have a violist, another singer and an organist – all on standby. And I am also working to get a student string quartet from Gainesville or another university and am searching for a classical guitar group.  Please come up and visit me after the concerts and let me know what you think; what you might like to hear. I want to see our audience continue to grow and thrive, and I know that is only possible if I engage performers who attract and please.

You can give us feedback on how we are doing and/or tell us what you want to hear by e-mail to:

See you on April 17th at 3 p.m. at Queen of Peace Catholic Church!

Leslie Hammes, Musical Director and Program Chair


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