In spite of the prevalence of funding cuts in the arts throughout the many higher educational institutions residing in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the spirit that elevates the endeavor associated with creativity remains prosperous. This could not be more evident than in the Inaugural Concert presented by The Pocono Community Orchestra on Sunday January 31st at The Stroudsburg, PA High School. The gathering of musicians were conducted by Betsy Buzzelli-Clarke who served as a professor in the Music Department at the local East Stroudsburg University (ESU) of PA until it was discontinued as a result a number of budgetary deductions and is currently an Assistant Professor in the ESU Theatre Department
A quiet anticipation filled the sizable audience who began to fill the school's auditorium as they awaited the members of the orchestra to take their preparatory places. It wasn't long before a violinist took her place at the conductor's podium to lead the ensemble through the tuning process of their instruments. It was after the violinist completed her task and took her place among her comrades did Ms. Buzzelli-Clarke appear on stage.
She was greeted by a rousing applause that was filled with encouragement and appreciation for bringing this group of musicians together to perform the classics. It was during the subsidence of the communal outpour of affection did Cellist and Orchestra Board Member, George Taylor, share his welcoming remarks directed toward the audience and shared a brief biography of the group. It was after his words did Ms. Buzzelli-Clarke raise her baton to coax the first notes of the performance from the instruments lovingly played by the talented musicians.
The pieces performed were composed by well known entities in the classical music genre such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Sergei Prokofiev, and Peter Tchaikovsky. However, the afternoon consisted of their lesser known works which enhanced the audience's appreciation for the varied fullness of each composers' productivity. The musical discoveries the gathering of music lovers encountered entreated them to explore the emotions that were musically expressed in each newly uncovered piece which refreshed the heart through their every measure.
As the marvelous concert came to its conclusion, Violist Jaimie Juschitsch presented Ms. Buzzelli-Clarke with a bouquet of flowers and words of appreciation for bringing the ensemble together. It was at this point did The Pocono Community Orchestra bid their audience and each other farewell forming memories that were certain to enhance the lives of those who were touched by the experience. You'll find more photographs taken during the concert in The Inauguration of a Community Orchestra Gallery at www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10154542131808761.1073741938.91146283760&type=3.
The Pocono Community Orchestra was initiated in the September of 2015 when the ESU/Community Orchestra were abandoned by the institution due to budgetary restraints while a need to continue their endeavors were realized by a number of community members. The Pocono Community Orchestra welcomes new members to join their assembly of musicians and supporters. Their next concert is tentatively scheduled to take place in the May of 2016. You can learn more about The Pocono Community Orchestra by calling Orchestra Board Member and conductor, Betsy Buzzelli-Clarke, at 570-420-1233.
Photography by Paparazzi Paul.