A toe-tapping season is about to begin with the return of the Richey Community Orchestra and Chorus this month.
The ensembles will open the season with “Jukebox Hits!” featuring a collection of pop and rock favorites from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. The concert will begin at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 14, at the Center for the Arts at River Ridge, 11646 Town Center Road, New Port Richey. Tickets are available for $18 each, and advance purchase is suggested.
“We’re all really looking forward to being back at our regular venues indoors,” said Denise Isaacson, president and executive director of RCO. “Having a new season after a year and a half of COVID, we had to cancel our shows as of April 2020. I came up with a drive-in concert idea where people could stay in their cars. We livestreamed our music right into their radios or roll the windows down or sit on lawn chairs in the grass in the sunshine. Everybody loved that idea, we did five different concerts.”
Audiences can expect to hear a fantastic set of songs this Sunday as the orchestra covers pop hits and the chorus takes on a bit of rock ’n’ roll. There will be selections from Elvis to Barry Manilow, along with the titles “Moon River,” “When I Fall In Love,” “The Way We Were” and “What a Wonderful World.”
The chorus will sing memorable tunes such as “Old Time Rock and Roll,” “Sweet Caroline,” “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “Route 66” and a tribute to the Everly Brothers.
Upcoming shows include “Christmas at the Movies,” a dinner party on Dec. 5 at the Spartan Manor in New Port Richey, “Shades of Blue” on Feb. 13 at Center for the Arts at River Ridge, “Thanks for the Memories,” a dinner concert on March 6 at Spartan Manor, “Lerner & Loewe” on April 3 along with the Richey Community Chorus at Center for the Arts at River Ridge, and lastly, “Mother’s Day Pops Bouquet” on May 8, another dinner concert at Spartan Manor.
“We added the chorus in 2014 because it was a wonderful addition that opened up a whole range of music, choral and orchestra music together, that expanded what variety we could offer,” Isaacson said. “It’s a lot of fun. The chorus has brought a lot of people into attendance.”
Maestro Stephen P. Brow conducts the 50-piece symphony orchestra, which features a membership of both professional and amateur musicians. What began as a trio of passionate musicians performing for the community at large in 1957 has since blossomed into a full orchestra. Isaacson herself has been a member of the group for 49 seasons. The RCO has performed for civic clubs and churches from Tarpon Springs to Hudson, and has especially participated in fundraising concerts for the Salvation Army and the Veterans Hospital in Tampa.
Isaacson commented on the quality performance of the orchestra, stating that there’s a real community feel from all of the musicians who participate in the group.
“We’re a community orchestra in the truest sense of that,” Isaacson said. “These are people who are professionals, we have amateur musicians as well. We have young people and 85 years old. It’s a full range (of members). ... I get calls and letters saying how much people have enjoyed the shows. It’s very fulfilling to be able to give this back to the community, making and sharing music is my goal in life.”
To purchase tickets, visit www.richeycommunityorchestra.com or in person/by mail from the Richey Community Orchestra Box Office, 6827 Amberjack Lane, Hudson.