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Evan Duke: Thank you from Foothills Philharmonic for a wonderful season

Published on Thursday, December 20, 2018

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Kory Vrieze conducts the Foothills Philharmonic Orchestra.
 

Foothills Philharmonic Orchestra

Kory Vrieze conducts the Foothills Philharmonic Orchestra.

 



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The holiday concert on Dec.15 was also an opportunity for patrons to contribute to the Marine Corps Toys for Tots.
 

Foothills Philharmonic Orchestra

The holiday concert on Dec.15 was also an opportunity for patrons to contribute to the Marine Corps Toys for Tots.

 



Enlarge photo

A food drive was held before a concert for the Greer community.
 
 

Foothills Philharmonic Orchestra

A food drive was held before a concert for the Greer community.

 

 

By Evan Duke

On December 15, Foothills Philharmonic held its annual Christmas Concert. This has become one of the biggest events of the year as we host our Annual Toys for Tots Drive to collect toys for needy children and their families here in the upstate of South Carolina. In addition, as our final event of the year, it opens the door for reflection on how the year went, and what we were able to do for our wonderful city of Greer. Most importantly, what also must be emphasized that none of this would have been possible without the support and interest of all of our patrons and the entirety of the City of Greer.

Foothills Philharmonic’s vision statement is educate, enrich entertain our upstate community. This past year, we performed six concerts in the city of Greer (three masterworks, a chamber concert, a pops concert, and our Christmas concert). We hosted an instrument petting zoo, and art sale, a food drive, a Toys for Tots Drive, as well as inaugurated our first ever solo competition for high school students. Named the Future Stars Scholarship, this competition will allow high school students to compete for a $1,000 cash prize for college expenses, as well as the opportunity to perform their winning selection on an orchestra concert with the orchestra.

Our Christmas Concert on the 15th saw a large crowd that almost filled Riverside Baptist’s auditorium. The orchestra put on a wonderful program full of festive Christmas music, and to top off the festivities of the evening, we were able to collect several hundred toys for the Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots Drive. As a community organization, while we do strive to offer musicians in our community an outlet for their skills, we also desire to find ways to help bring together out entire upstate community, and events such as this Christmas Concert are an ideal setting to provide all of these opportunities.

While the end of the year is always a wonderful time to be looking back and seeing what was accomplished during the course of the year, it can also be an exciting time to look forward and see what exciting things are in store. In January, we will be hosting the first ever Future Stars Scholarship Competition, with the announcement of the winner to be made on our third Masterworks concert in March. In February, we plan to have our annual Chamber Concert, featuring the different chamber ensembles within the orchestra.

At our March Concert, we will perform Mahler’s mighty first symphony. The fact that we are even considering performing this work, let alone doing it is a testimony about the skill and expertise of our artistic director, Kory Vrieze. Under his leadership, the orchestra’s technical abilities have grown substantially, and we are very grateful to have him as our conductor.

The final concert day of the season brings a double header full of excitement and new ground being broken. Starting at 1pm, we will be hosting our Sensory Friendly Events for special needs children and their families, culminating in our first ever Sensory Friendly Concert at 3pm. This is a highly anticipated event as we strive to serve this segment of our society. In the evening, we will host our Annual Pops Concert, at which we will be holding an instrument petting zoo for all of the children in attendance to touch and try out all of the instruments of the orchestra.

Next fall will be a very exciting time, since it will be the start of our 20th anniversary season. Right now, we have many exciting plans in the works to celebrate. In addition to these special one-time events, we plan to hold two masterworks concerts in the fall along with our annual Christmas Concert, along with the Art Sale, the Food Drive, and the Toys for Tots Drive. For more information on us as an organization, please visit our website at https://foothillsphilharmonic.org.

While all of what has been written talks about what the orchestra has done, the most important recognition to be given here is a huge thank you to the Greer Community. The orchestra moved to our beautiful city back in 2011, and doing what we have been able to do over that time would not have been possible without the wonderful community support. The artwork that has been sold, the food collected, the toys given to children, the petting zoo available to children to try and finally the future stars competition for high school students- none of this would be possible without the wonderful support and participation of the Greer community.

Thank you all again! Have a merry Christmas, and a happy new year! We hope to see you in 2019.

 

 

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