Updated: Feb 20, 2020
By Kayla Garner, Staff Reporter
Revolution and Revolutionary is the title of the Civic Orchestra of Abilene’s next concert. This free public event will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 11 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Wylie I.S.D.’s Performing Arts Center.
The concert will include a guest performance from the Revolution Strings, as well as music from Ludwig van Beethoven. This includes Beethoven’s Military March No. 1 in F (Yorckscher Marsch), Hindemith’s paraphrase of Beethoven’s Geschwindmarsch and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major.
The Revolution Strings is a show orchestra group consisting of selected string instrument players and a drummer from the orchestra programs at both Abilene and Cooper High School. The group is best known for their energetic performances of both country and Celtic music.
The Civic Orchestra of Abilene is made up of local college students from Hardin-Simmons University, Abilene Christian University and McMurry University, as well as members from the local community. There are currently about 50 to 60 musicians in the orchestra, each playing some type of wind, percussion or string instrument. The conductor of the Civic Orchestra is Dr. Stephen Ward, the current band director at ACU.
According to Nathaniel “Richie” Diaz, flute player and a two-year member of the Civic Orchestra, it is important for music students to be able to have “a real orchestra experience.” This belief is what led to the creation of the tri-university Civic Orchestra of Abilene four years ago. The Civic Orchestra of Abilene is what gives college students, like Diaz, the opportunity to learn what being in a professional orchestra is all about.
“I joined orchestra because that’s where you go for a real orchestra experience. There’s real musicianship there…It’s really talented people, really hard music and a really good time,” Diaz said.
During an interview, Diaz shared what he enjoyed most about being a part of the Civic Orchestra. “Whenever we are in the middle of playing something, and you get in the moment…and it all comes together and creates this really cool moment when you’re just in the music,” Diaz said.
Students from HSU, ACU and McMurry who are interested in this kind of music experience can audition to join the Civic Orchestra of Abilene at the beginning of each school year.