When I received an invitation from the Concord Chamber Orchestra to attend their annual holiday concert, I was quick to say yes! Not only had it been years since I last attend an orchestra concert, but I also had never gotten the chance to visit the event’s iconic location, the Basilica of St. Josaphat on Milwaukee’s south side. I am grateful for the opportunity to experience both at once!
Here’s what you need to know about the Concord Chamber Orchestra:
1. The group has been in existence since 1975.
2. The current director has served since 2004.
3. All members of the group are dedicated volunteers!
The musicians were set in the foreground of the beautiful (and beautifully decorated) shrine in the sanctuary. The concert began with some more classic pieces, which represented the “sacred” part of the concert’s Sacred & Secular title. I especially appreciated the diversity in the last piece of the opening half, a three-movement selection by Ottorino Respighi entitled Trittico botticelliano (Three Botticelli Pictures). Like its name states, each of the three movements is based on a different classic painting by Sandro Botticelli.
After a 15-minute intermission, we were treated to some more familiar Christmas tunes, including Adolphe Adam’s rendition of O Holy Night and Gloria Shayne Baker’s Do You Hear What I Hear? Since we were in a basilica, it was only fitting to stand up for a high-energy round of Hallelujah as well! The concert finished off fun and strong with a sing-along compilation by Leroy Anderson called Christmas Festival.
I had so much fun at the concert with my friend, Katie, and highly recommend checking out the Concord Chamber Orchestra if you are looking to diversify your Milwaukee performance arts repertoire. They perform at least four times a year throughout the Greater Milwaukee area. If you are interested in becoming involved as a performer with the Concord Chamber Orchestra, you can learn more about becoming a musician at their FAQ page. The Basilica is also open to visitors on Mondays – Saturdays from 9:00 – 4:00. Tours take place every Sunday following the 10:00 mass.