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Unheard Melodies, One Enchanting Musical Evening

Posted By Gina Perez
March 14, 2022 at 4:17 PM

Photo courtesy Alhambra Orchestra.

Classical music aficionados will find the compositions curated by the Alhambra Orchestra for the Chamber Music program Unheard Melodies enrapturing. The collection of rarely explored compositions by these overlooked composers, although you will recognize their surnames, Clara Schumann, the wife of Robert Schumann, and Fanny Mendelssohn, Felix Mendelssohn’s eldest sister, worked alongside their famous counterparts and produced some very creative and intriguing works. Their compositions will fill the nave of the historic Coral Gables Congregational Church. The evening’s event will also feature works by other equally accomplished and overlooked composers from the Romantic and twentieth century eras; Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Amy Beach, Rebecca Clarke, and Darius Milhaud. Members of the Alhambra Orchestra will interpret samples of the musical compositions.

The ensemble has been rehearsing and receiving coaching by the Alhambra Orchestra’s Artistic Director and Principal Conductor, Daniel Andai, to prepare for the performance. Violinist Daniel Andai, a versatile artist as a soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, concertmaster, conductor and recording artist, generously shares his talents with the musicians to accentuate the best in them. Dr. Andai is the Dean of Music at the New World School of the Arts in Miami and the Artistic Director of the Killington Music Festival in Vermont.

In 1990, Dr. Lee Walz recognized the need for a community orchestra in Miami and set out to fill the void. The first orchestra was composed of students, amateur and professional musicians, and friends of Dr. Walz. They played in libraries, churches, and small venues. Over the years, it grew to become a full-size symphony orchestra that plays major repertoires. The Alhambra Orchestra is an active member of the Miami-Dade community, producing 10-12 public performances annually at minimal or no cost to its patrons. It works tirelessly to make classical music and music education available to the multi-ethnic community.

They live their mission statement — We aim to be an inclusive and culturally relevant community orchestra where all people can experience their world through historic and impactful music. “We interpret that to mean that we give free concerts as much as possible,” said Helen Hauser, Executive Director. The orchestra has a volunteer board and mostly volunteer musicians. They are all trained musicians that give freely of their talent and time to perform together, bringing the mission statement to life.

The Orchestra enjoys sending ensembles to play for the community as part of its outreach programs; unfortunately they had to scale back or stop because of the pandemic. Some places they perform at, besides the concerts, are at libraries, hospitals, and museums. One of the favorite outreach activities is visiting the schools and performing for the children. Although they could not visit the schools lately because of the pandemic, they look forward to returning to going out in the community to share their love for classical music soon.

The Unheard Melodies Chamber Music presentation will take place on Sunday, March 27, at 7:30 in the evening at the historic Coral Gables Congregational Church at 3010 DeSoto Blvd., Coral Gables. Members of the Alhambra Orchestra will perform in this intimate setting music for strings, winds, and piano from the Romantic era and beyond. This free event is open to all and no reservations are required. The organization asks that if you have a large group or need special accommodations to please call 305-668-9260 or email music@alhambraorchestra.org.

If you would like to experience the full symphony orchestra, make plans to attend their 32 Season Finally concert featuring William Grant Still’s Afro-American Symphony on Sunday, May 15, at 7:30 PM at the FIU Wertheim Performing Arts Center; another free event. Visit their website for more information at www.alhambraorchestra.org.

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