The Lake Chapala area is about to witness the birth of its own orchestra. Spearheaded by several expat musicians, the organization will be known as the Lake Chapala Community Orchestra. Its mission will include serving the local communities as a performing arts ensemble and as a vehicle for educational opportunities for young musicians within the Lake Chapala region and beyond.
“This is a very exciting project for all local musicians, young or not so young, to participate in their own community based orchestra,” says Christine Philipson, the orchestra’s general manager.
The orchestra’s first rehearsal and welcome social is being held on Saturday, October 13, 2 p.m. This will be at The Spotlight Club, San Antonio Tlacayapan (next door to Fenix Reality). The Spotlight Club has kindly donated their venue for all rehearsals and the orchestra’s first concert, “A Celebration of Christmas,” which will be performed on Sunday, December 16.
Local and expat musicians who play an orchestral instrument to a reasonable standard are welcome to attend the opening rehearsal. There is no audition and the only requirement is to bring your instrument and music stand along with a desire to make music with other like-minded people.
The final piece of the organizational jigsaw was finding a conductor who was locally based and able to guide the fledgling orchestra in its first musical steps.
“We landed on our feet there,” Philipson says. “We asked Michael Reason, a new Ajijic resident and Canadian expat, to be our conductor.”
Reason has had a long career as a professional conductor and pianist in Canada, running orchestras such as the Niagara Symphony and the Hamilton Philharmonic. He has also conducted numerous Mexican orchestras, including the State of Mexico Symphony and the Monterrey Symphony.
“I am looking forward to giving the orchestra a musical vision that will inspire both players and audience,” Reason says.