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Philharmonic presents 'Evening of Serenades'

By Clay Winowiecki - cwinowiecki@chronicle-tribune.com

The Marion Philharmonic Orchestra is back with “Evening of Serenades,” which promises to be a more intimate performance than traditional Marion Philharmonic concerts.

This concert also marks the completion of the MPO’s first season with new Maestro Matthew Kraemer. The concert will take place on at 7:30 p.m. Saturday under the gothic design of the First United Methodist Church at 624 South Adams Street.

“It’s a very intimate program compared to the last two which featured a full-sized symphony orchestra,” Kraemer said. “It’s an evening of serenading and lighter music. Music that traditionally would have been performed in the evening.”

This “Evening of Serenades” will include music by Strauss, Mozart, and Brahms. Compared to the first two concerts, which included 70 musicians, this smaller concert, with 26 musicians, will demonstrate the MPO’s versatility by showcasing a smaller number of musicians.

“It’s a chance to hear the phenomenally talented musicians of the orchestra in a repertoire that is not widely performed,” Kraemer added. “It’s a unique way of hearing individual musicians of the orchestra highlighted much more than they would be (otherwise).”

The orchestra, which is set to begin its 50th year next season, will also announce big plans for next season.

“We’re almost doubling the amount of music we’ll have compared to this season,” Kraemer said. “There will be more programs, more variety in programs and I’ll be putting a stamp on my first fully programmed season of the orchestra.”

According to Kraemer, the MPO has been a large part of the artistic fabric of Grant County over the past five decades.

“(Fans) can trace its legacy back with a great deal of pride,” he said. “(It should be) a source of pride for the community ... to be able to point at this orchestra and (know) we have an orchestra that can rival many in city’s much larger than us.”

Kraemer said his first year with the orchestra has been full of wonderful moments and hopes the audience has enjoyed the diversity of music in his first two programs.

“This is a wonderful way to propel us into our 50th season coming up in October,” he added.

The venue for the concert, the First United Methodist Church, will also add to the atmosphere of the concert, Kraemer said.

“It is a very small space compared to the concert hall, so the audience is very close to the musicians,” he said.

This is also the last chance for the MPO to raise funds this season, which according to Kraemer, is critical to the orchestra’s future.

MPO funding comes from foundations, corporations and individuals.

The revenue helps the orchestra to not only provide concerts, but to reach out to the community to provide musical education throughout Grant County.

Donations can be mailed to the MPO’s, P.O. Box 272, Marion, IN 46952. All donations will be matched by a 40-year supporter for any contributions received by Wednesday.

“(This concert) is a great opportunity for anybody in the community who has not heard the orchestra this season to come out and hear us and see what’s coming in the future,” Kraemer added.

Tickets for “Evening of Serenades” may be purchased at the door or by calling 765-662-0012. Adults $20, seniors $18, students 13 and up, $10, and students 12 and under, no admission charge.