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RCO String Ensemble – Early Holiday Concert

RCO String Ensemble – Early Holiday Concert

4:30 pm on Sunday, November 21st

Reid Memorial Church 1004 N. A St. – Richmond, Indiana

No Admission charge. We request that you wear a mask for the protection of the musicians and other audience attendees.

Music by Mozart, Holst, and John Rutter along with some festive holiday numbers to get you ready for the season.

Fantasia on Scarborough Fair

Arranged by Mark Barnard
This piece published in 2014 uses the English Folk song in an innovative way that highlights the strings.  The song is about the Scarborough Fair held in Yorkshire and details some impossible task that your loved one is required to do – make a shirt without any seems, wash your laundry in a dry well, farm the land between the surf and the shore.

Sonata Concertante 
Based on Mozart’s Sonata for piano four hands, arranged by Frederic Westcott.
The Sonata in Bb K. 358 originally for piano duet written in Salzburg about 1773 is here re-imagined for strings.  We are playing the 1st and last movements with Jenny Williams playing the piano part much like a concerto.

The Holly and the Ivy
Arranged by Chip Davis
This Old English carol is in a setting by Chip Davis, of the Mannheim Steamroller fame, sounds much like a medieval song.  Davis was born and raised in Ohio and earned a music degree from the University of Michigan in both percussion and bassoon.

Dargason from the St. Paul Suite
By Gustav Holst
Again an English folk song is the basis for this piece which is combined with Greensleeves.  Holst wrote this for the St. Paul School for Girls string orchestra in 1913.

A Time for Christmas 
Arranged by David Bobrowitz
This piece published in 2017 uses 3 well-known carols:  Good King Wenceslas, The First Noel, and God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen; in a medley that shows off many string techniques.

Silent Night
Arranged by Erik Morales
This famous Christmas carol was written in 1818 and was originally in 6/8 time at a faster tempo (more guitar-friendly).  First used in the US around 1859 when it was translated into English.  The middle section has a quicker more “waltz-like” quality.

Suite for Strings
By John Rutter
This piece was published in 1973 but written much earlier when Rutter was in his twenties and BEFORE he was known as a choral composer.  It has four movements all based on (you guessed it) English folk songs.  We will do #3, O Waly Waly, based on the Welsh tune “The Water is Wide” and #1, a rousing version of A-Roving.

The Sleigh
By Richard Kountz
First published in 1926 this ‘Russian’ sleigh song is a fast-moving fun piece.

RCO String Ensemble Members
Jay Conard – Conductor

1st Violin
Anita Crull, Concert Mistress
George Carr
Allison Mopps
Millicent Martin Emery

2nd Violin
Beverly Doyle, Principal
Dick Miller
Ted Halsted

3rd Violin/Viola
Jennifer Sacks

Kelly Remo, Principal
Ray Ontko
Maddie Mopps
Eevett Loshek

Mike Mustin

Jenny Williams

Thank you to the Friends of Reid Memorial Presbyterian Church for graciously hosting this event.
The RCO plans to return to full orchestra rehearsals/concerts after the first of the year. Rehearsals will be held in the Chapel room of Reid Memorial Church. Follow us on Facebook, or checkout our webpage at

News Previous Performances

RCO Summer Concert

Sunday, July 25th
Glen Miller Park
Bandshell at Roosevelt Hill

Program Notes:

  1. Magnificent Seven by Elmer Bernstein
    The Magnificent Seven is a 1960 American Western film directed by John Sturges and starring Yul Brynner, Eli Wallach and Steve McQueen. The supporting cast features Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter, James Coburn and Horst Buchholz. The film is an Old West–style remake of Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 Japanese film Seven Samurai. There are 4 films in the original series (that use Bernstein’s music) and a modern remake that does NOT use the original music.
    • The Magnificent Seven (1960)
    • Return of the Seven (1966)
    • Guns of the Magnificent Seven (1969)
    • The Magnificent Seven Ride! (1972)
    • The Magnificent Seven (2016)
  2. English Folk Song Suite by Ralph Vaughn Williams 1872 – 1958

Originally for Military Band 1923 “Folk Song Suite”, orchestrated for full orchestra by his student in 1923 as “English Folk Song Suite”.
Arranged for British-style brass band in 1956 by Frank Wright and published as English Folk Songs Suite.

The second movement is a ballad “My Bonny Boy” with lyrics about a broken-hearted girl who gave her heart to a lad who ran off and found another lass.

My Bonny Boy

I once loved a boy and a bonny bonny boy,
I loved him I vow and protest,
I loved him so well, there’s no tongue can tell,
Till I built him a berth on my breast.

‘Twas up the wild forest and through the green groves
Like one that was troubled in mind,
I hallooed, I whooped and I blew on my flute
But no bonny boy could I find.

I looked up high and I looked down low
The weather being wonderful warm;
And who should I spy but my own bonny boy
Locked fast in another girl’s arms.

He took me upon his assembled knees
And looked me quite hard in the face,
He gave unto me one sweet smile and a kiss
But his heart’s in another girl’s breast.

Now my bonny, bonny boy is across the salt seas
And I hope he will safely return;
But if he loves another girl better than me
Let him take her, and why should I mourn?

Now the girl that enjoys my own bonny boy,
She is not to be blamed, I am sure,
For many’s the long night he have robbed me of my rest
But he never shall do it no more.

3. GERSHWIN!  George Gershwin  1898-1937
Arranged by Jay Conard.

Most of Gershwin’s hits had lyrics written by his brother Ira.
Gershwin went to Europe to try to find a teacher among the ‘serious’ composers of the day. Maurice Ravel’s rejection letter to Gershwin told him, “Why become a second-rate Ravel when you’re already a first-rate Gershwin?” Gershwin died after an operation to remove a brain tumor in July of 1937.

This medley contains the following songs (notice only one included does NOT have lyrics by his brother Ira):

Intro uses “I Got Rhythm” and “Fascinating Rhythm”.

  • ‘SWonderful (1927 w/ Ira)
  • Someone to Watch Over Me (1926 w/Ira  and verse)
  • Swanee (1919 lyrics by Irving Caesar – made famous by Al Jolson)
  • Our Love Is Here to Stay (1937 w/Ira)  Last composition George Gershwin completed.  Lyrics completed after George’s death.  Verse reconstructed by Oscar Levant.
  • Embraceable You (1928 w/Ira)
  • Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off  (1937 w/Ira) Verse included here.  Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers performed this duet on ROLLER SKATES!!!
  • I’ve Got Rhythm (1928 w/Ira)  Famously belted out by Ethel Merman.

We know of Gershwin’s prowess on the piano by recordings and piano rolls he made.

4. Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 – 2nd Movement – Allegretto

Beethoven was born in December of 1770 (last year marked the 250th anniversary of his birth.  Symphony #7 was written in 1811-1812 and premiered in 1813.  He felt it was his finest symphony to date and is the most organic with four separate movements in a very standard form – no big new technics but rather a very cohesive fully realized piece.  The 2nd movement was so well received that it was encored at the first performance and many times just the 2nd movement was programmed by itself without the rest of the symphony.

5. LORD OF THE DANCE  by Ronan Hardiman (1961- )  
Irish composer for the Lord of the Dance – Cry of the Celts

Includes music from Hymn tune “Simple Gifts” included in many church hymnals as “Lord of the Dance” and also music by Ronan Hardiman (“Cry of the Celtics“) used in the dance sensation of the same name.  A Tour de Force of violin techniques – including some ‘fiddling.’

6. American Frontier arr. by Calvin Custer (1939-1998)

This medley of American tunes includes: “The Girl I Left Behind“, an old Irish tune used by the British and U.S. military. It is still played at West Point during final formations at graduation; “Chester“, a New England hymn-tune by William Billings written around the time of the Revolutionary War; “Oh Susanna” by Stephen Foster; “Shenandoah“, a tune used on sailing ships, and ends with a stirring version of “America, the Beautiful.”

Orchestra Members

  • VIOLIN 1
    • Anita Crull — Concert Mistress
    • George Carr
    • Ana Aquino-Roja
    • Barb Myers
    • Jaime Perez-Orduno
  • VIOLIN 2
    • Beverly Doyle
    • Dick Miller
    • Cynthia Fadem
    • Ted Halsted
    • Michael West
    • Gloria Morgan
    • Kelly Remo
    • Miriam Zimmer
    • Ray Ontko
    • Eevett Loshek
  • BASS
    • Mike Mustin
    • Jenny Williams
    • Rod Blanchford
    • Michael Buchholz
    • Kendale Hamilton
    • Sheryl Mabry
    • Carolyn Miller
    • April Sanders
    • Ashley Phenis
    • Don Miller
    • Carolyn Gardner
    • Cathy Ackerman
    • Amy Bryant – Alto/Soprano
    • Sophie Kochensparger – Tenor
  • HORN
    • Michele Lilly
    • Steven Stoller
    • Henry Kochensparger
    • Caleb Scott
    • Charles Kochensparger
    • Don Shrader
    • Mark Simmons
  • TUBA
    • Brian Lilly
    • Tyler Roebuck
Members Previous Performances

String Rehearsals Resume Monday April 12

RCO will be resuming rehearsals for string players only on April 12.
Rehearsals will take place in the Richmond Senior Center, 1600 S Second St, Richmond.

Rehearsals are on Mondays, 6:30-8:00pm
April 12, 19, 26
May 3, 10, 17, 24

Temperatures will be checked before entry.
Masks must be worn at all times. Seats will be placed 6ft apart and members are asked to socially distance themselves at all times.