Since the 1980s, folks in Houston County have been enjoying continuous live musical performances each September through April thanks to the Warner Robins Community Concert Association. This year’s season of performances include wind ensemble, chamber groups, vocalists and instrumentals that offer something everyone can enjoy. For 34 years, the concert group has brought quality musical experiences at an affordable price for local residents to enjoy.
The concerts are performed in the sanctuary of First United Methodist Church, located at 205 N. Davis Drive in Warner Robins — with the exception of the first performance. Traditionally, the Wellston Winds kick off the season with a free performance at Houston County High School auditorium. This year’s kick-off performance is Sept. 17. Judging from the rounds of applause and encores at this year’s free Independence Day concert at the Museum of Aviation, this group does not disappoint.
Wellston Winds is under the direction of C. Lloyd McDonald, who also happens to be president this year of the concert association. The group is an ensemble of local professionals who are highly experienced in one musical venue or another. In fact, the former commander of the Band of the Air Force Reserve at Robins Air Force Base, Ray Toler, a retired colonel, will return to the city for this performance to lead the band in several selections.
The remaining five performances of the musical season are ticketed events, starting with American pianist Thomas Pandolfi performing Oct. 15. He is a graduate of Juilliard and resides in Washington D.C.
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The next performance is Nov. 12 with soprano Rachel Eve Holmes, who is adept in opera, musical theater and music education. She is a Georgia native with extensive experience throughout Europe, China and the United States.
David Burgess will perform classical guitar Jan. 21. Burgess is known for his traditional style along with popular and folklore music, drawing from a vast collection of Latin American music.
Maestro Adrian Gnan will perform and direct his namesake quintet comprised of former and present Mercer students and local oboe, English horn and bassoon professionals. The group delivers an eclectic program covering baroque to contemporary, including special arrangements by Warner Robins oboist Nestor Jaenz.
And finally, Miguel Castro will bring percussion music from around the world to the local stage April 15. Castro is the director of Percussion Studies and Jazz Band at Middle Georgia State University and the percussion coordinator of the Houston County school system.
Tickets for the 2017-18 season are $35 for one adult season ticket. Individual tickets may be purchased at the door of each performance for $15. Students of all ages are free of charge. Other ticket options are a Patron Contributor for $100 which includes two season tickets. The Donor Contributor includes five season tickets for $250. A Benefactor Contributor receives 10 tickets for $500. Patrons, Donors, Benefactors and Sponsors are listed in the season program. Tickets are available by sending a check to Warner Robins Community Concert , P.O. Box 819, Warner Robins, GA 31099-0819. More details are available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting www.wrconcert.org.
Marsha Priest Buzzell is the executive director of the Warner Robins Convention & Visitors Bureau and may be contacted at 478-922-5100 or cvb@wrga,org.
Buzzell column Sun News 0816