ST. MARY’S CITY, Md. – Since 1995, The Chamber Orchestra of Southern Maryland in Concert (COSMIC) has been the only community orchestra in the region. Performing across Calvert, St. Mary’s, and Charles Counties.
After not performing live for over two years, the orchestra will be holding two free concerts for anyone to enjoy. The first concert will be on Saturday, March 11, at 3:00 p.m. at the Nancy R. and Norton T. Dodge Performing Arts Center at St. Mary’s College. The second concert will be on Sunday, March 12, at 3:00 p.m. at the College of Southern Maryland Prince Frederick Campus.
“After two and a half years of being shut down by COVID restrictions, it feels amazing for the orchestra to be playing again,” Karen Roberts, the President of the orchestra, told TheBayNet.com. “Most of the previous members were able to return to playing, but some members moved away or went to college. We basically had to start fundraising from scratch after such a long time. A new Board of Directors was formed and the group quickly sent out requests for donations as we had lost all government grants and corporate/individual donations during COVID. The community support for our comeback was overwhelming. Individual and corporate donors responded to our plea and we were able to hire a new Music Director, Will Esterling, and the group started rehearsing in September 2022.”
“Will has been a tremendous asset to the orchestra,” Roberts continued. “He jumped in and proposed fresh repertoire for our first concerts on October 28 and 29, 2022, titled ‘A Haunting Return’ showcasing the orchestra with celebratory works to commemorate our return and favorite spooky classical Halloween music. The audience was thrilled that we were back. We then produced a ‘COSMIC Christmas Concert’ on December 10 and 11, 2022. Patuxent Presbyterian Church was almost full and the audience whole heartedly joined in the sing along portion. Our October and December concerts in Calvert County at St. John Vianney Church was equally well attended. COSMIC Symphony exists to support classical music in the community and to give local musicians a place to showcase their talents without having to travel to the metropolitan DC area.”
The concerts will also feature 15-year-old prodigy Jane Liang, the winner of the 2020 Young Artists Competition.
Jane, a St. Mary’s County native, is currently a student of Brian Ganz at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Jane was supposed to perform her winning concerto with the orchestra at the March 2020 concert, but the concert was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I feel very grateful for the opportunity, but pretty nervous,” Jane told TheBayNet.com.
Jane plays the piano and violin and has been playing both instruments for nearly a combined 15 years. Basically, her entire life.
“We are thrilled to provide Jane the opportunity to play with the orchestra,” said Roberts.
Roberts then went on to explain what attendees can expect for both concerts.
“The concert begins with the orchestra performing Franz Shubert’s ‘Unfinished Symphony’, followed by Jane performing the Edvard Grieg ‘Piano Concerto in A Minor’, and concludes with the orchestra playing Johann Strauss II’s ‘Artist’s Life’ waltz,” Roberts explained. “To enhance the Saturday, March 11th concert experience at the new Nancy R. and Norton T. Dodge Performing Arts Center at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Blue Wind Gourmet will have wine, beer, nonalcoholic beverages and protein snack boxes for purchase before and after the concert and during the intermission. We want to provide the Southern Maryland community with a ‘big city’ orchestral experience close to home. Our Sunday, March 12th concert at the College of Southern Maryland at the Prince Frederick campus features Jane performing with the orchestra on the college’s amazing Bösendorfer piano.”
“COSMIC Symphony is back, stronger than ever and we would love to see new patrons at our upcoming concerts. Check us out, the concerts are free!”
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Jane is my best friend, and I’m so proud of her for working up to this point. I know how hard she’s worked and I just can’t express how amazing she is! She deserves the best stage of the world to perform, and even without her piano talent she has a beautiful spirit and character that I so admire!
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