The orchestras of Troy High School are returning for their annual Gala Concert and fundraiser on Saturday, Feb. 5.

The orchestras of Troy High School are returning for their annual Gala Concert and fundraiser on Saturday, Feb. 5.

Photo provided by Deborah Pecis


Orchestra Gala Concert returns after a year’s absence

By: Brendan Losinski | Troy Times | Published January 27, 2022

Advertisement

TROY — The Troy High School orchestras are coming back loud and forte with their upcoming Gala Concert, an event that was canceled last year due to COVID-19.

The event is usually held annually and has been hosted as a fundraiser for the orchestras every year for the last 30 years, except for 2021.

“The gala features every orchestra at Troy High: a chamber ensemble, the Troy Country Fiddlers and our guest artists,” said Wendy Stuart, the director of orchestras at Troy High School. “All ensembles will be performing with (professional musicians) Jeremy Kittel and Jacob Warren. We are committed to protecting our patrons with limited and distanced seating in the Troy High School auditorium. We also will be livestreaming the event.”

The gala will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 5. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Troy High School is located at 4777 Northfield Parkway.

“The tickets are $25 per ticket, and they can be purchased online,” said Debbie Pecis, the president of the Orchestra Association of Troy High. “Unfortunately, because of the COVID numbers we are still facing challenges, so we may not be selling the full amount, but we haven’t sold out yet. We also will have items up for raffle, and you can purchase tickets for the raffle at the event. We got the items getting raffled off donated from local businesses, including Achatz Pie Co., Fogo de Chao and Seasons 52.”

The concert will feature all the orchestras from Troy High, in addition to some special guest musicians.

“It’s going to be a night filled with really incredible music,” remarked Stuart. “Featured soloists Jeremy Kittel, on violin, and Jacob Warren, on double bass, are going to bring a spectacular presence to this event. All of our orchestras will be featured this evening, and it will be so great to hold the Gala Concert again.”

“It is a more formal concert and fundraising event. Professional guest performers will perform alongside the concert orchestra, philharmonic orchestra, freshman orchestra and the symphony orchestra,” added Pecis. “There is also a smaller ensemble group called the Fiddlers, who are stirring performers doing folk and fiddle music. … A student concerto quartet also will perform. It’s a pianist, cellist and a violinist who had to try out for this very prestigious group.”

Pecis said the orchestras are preparing some excellent pieces for the event.

“This is my first year in Troy, as Alan MacNair retired last year. It’s also the first school year students have been able to perform regularly in concert since the lockdown of 2020. The orchestras worked in a primarily virtual format all last school year,” she said. “The orchestras will perform on their own, featuring a wide range of music in a variety of styles. The symphony orchestra will be performing the ‘Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture,’ by Tchaikovsky. Each orchestra will also perform a piece with Jeremy Kittel and Jacob Warren, ranging from jazz standards to American bluegrass music. The concert will end with a piece for symphony orchestra and solo fiddle, composed by Jeremy Kittle, called ‘Stones River.’”

Pecis also said that there is an air of specialness to this year’s gala, since it is one of the first major performances the high school has done in more than a year.

“This is the 29th gala, but we didn’t do one last year. There were almost no live performances last year. It’s another aspect of this gala, since everyone is excited to go back to playing in front of an audience,” she explained. “Roop Raj from Fox 2 News is our master of ceremonies. We bring in professional musicians beyond the students. They also work with the students prior to the concert. Our headliner will be Jeremy Kittel, who is a violinist, fiddler and composer. He is performing along with the orchestra and they will be doing some of his own pieces. It adds a whole new caliber to the performance and it exposes the students to a new level of education by working with these professionals.”

Precautions are still in place to ensure everyone is safe while attending the event.

“Masks are required in the building, and we will have distanced seating,” said Pecis. “We used to have a strolling food portion and afterglow event, but we pivoted everything to the raffle this year. We also will be livestreaming it if people want to watch it from home.”

The livestream of the event will be viewable by going to https://youtu.be/Yb5F0NgQB-U. More information about the gala is available at www.troyhighorchestra.com. Those wishing to support the fundraising aspect of the event can do so on Venmo by sending payments to @OATH-OATH-1.

Advertisement