The Warren Symphony Orchestra rehearses Nov. 20 at the   Macomb Center for the Performing Arts in Clinton Township.

The Warren Symphony Orchestra rehearses Nov. 20 at the   Macomb Center for the Performing Arts in Clinton Township.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Warren Symphony Orchestra continues making music

By: Maria Allard | Warren Weekly | Published November 21, 2019

 The Warren Symphony Orchestra will play the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Marianne Martinez, Leonard Bernstein and John Williams this season.

The Warren Symphony Orchestra will play the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Marianne Martinez, Leonard Bernstein and John Williams this season.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

WARREN/CLINTON TOWNSHIP — The Warren Symphony Orchestra is back for another year of entertaining audiences and turning them into classical music fans.

The WSO’s first concert of the season was scheduled for Nov. 24, after press time, at the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts in Clinton Township.

“The musicians are fabulous. All the musicians are classically trained,” conductor Gina Provenzano said. “We’re trying to grow. We don’t think people know about us. We would love to have a bigger audience.”

The Warren Symphony Orchestra, or WSO, members hail from metro Detroit and beyond, including one member who resides in Ohio. There are about 80 members, but only about 50 perform at each show because the musicians also play in other symphonies and some also teach music.

“The musicians audition for their seats,” WSO Executive Director Jessica Trepton said, adding that the members usually remain in the orchestra year after year. “We have a very loyal group.”

The WSO has existed since 1973, and at one time became the Motor City Symphony Orchestra before becoming the Warren Symphony Orchestra again. While the group loves to entertain, the WSO also hopes to educate and engage students in grades K-12 about classical music.

“Music is good for your brain, for your soul and your life. We have pieces of wood onstage and pieces of metal onstage that create this amazing sound,” Provenzano said. “It’s something we can all share, love and appreciate. It’s amazing what these composers wrote. Sometimes we need to sit back and listen.”

One area Provenzano hopes to cover this season is to introduce audiences to female composers.

“I try very hard to play female composers at every concert,” she said. However, because the music has not been published, “it’s very expensive” for symphonies to play their music.

“They weren’t allowed to perform,” Provenzano said. “They wrote these huge symphonies that took time with hopes that they’d get played one day.”

The WSO has three more concerts planned this season at the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts. Information, including ticket prices and availability, is available at warrensymphony.com.

The WSO will perform “A Divine Genius: Mozart” at 3 p.m. Feb. 23. The concert will feature the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Attendees also will hear “Sinfonia, C Major,” by composer Marianne Martinez. While there is a charge for adults, students in grades K-12 are welcome free of charge.

The WSO has two youth concerts set for 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. March 11 at the Warren Consolidated Performing Arts Center, 12901 15 Mile Road in Sterling Heights. According to the WSO website, the concerts are aimed at fourth and fifth grade students, but children of all ages are welcome. Email WSO@WarrenSymphony.org to check availability.

The WSO also will perform at 3 p.m. April 19. Highlights will include the music of “West Side Story,” by Leonard Bernstein, and the music of “Star Wars,” by John Williams. The group also will play “Good King Charles’ Golden Days,” by composer Linda Robbins Coleman. Again, students in grades K-12 are welcome free of charge.

Provenzano became the symphony’s director in August 2018. The Midland resident plays clarinet, saxophone, viola and violin. In addition to conducting the WSO, Provenzano is the artistic director/conductor for the Midland Community Orchestra.

“Gina has been a great new energy,” Trepton said. “She’s really into being part of the community.”

Provenzano would like to bring members of the symphony into local schools to educate students about classical music.

“The only way to appreciate it is to foster it in young children,” Trepton said. “Our base is dying out.”

The WSO is always looking for volunteers to help. For more information, call (586) 754-2950 or send an email to WSO@WarrenSymphony.org.