By Karolyn Gephart
The Pearland Chamber Orchestra is growing and planning a spring concert after a successful winter founding event in the city.
Their mission is to bring high quality performing arts to Pearland and surrounding areas. Character: Representing high moral and emotional character within the performing arts and community. Community: Uniting community in peace and harmony with compassion through quality performing arts.
Founder Shannon Small is excited about what the orchestra offers the city.
The Pearland Chamber Orchestra was born at their holiday concert debut December 21, 2019 at the Redemption Pearland Church at 14011 South Freeway in Houston.
The idea to form began in June 2019.
“A few people held a meeting June 2019. We contacted a need-based study and determined there is a large interested in Pearland and surrounding areas and regionally. We also determined our niche in the greater metroplex as a chamber orchestra, as there are none that we are aware of from our years of performing in the greater metroplex,” founder Shannon Small said. “We determined that we wanted to go further and encompass other arts within our performances. Then our work began with zero funds. The debut concert nearly sold out, and we have received great feedback and reviews from those in attendance.”
The first concert had a core of 20 musicians, thus a chamber orchestra.
Not all were from the area.
“All of our professional musicians are from Pearland as well as from all over the metroplex and further. Our principal clarinetist flew in from Denver, CO, and our conductor drove in from Kerrville,” Small said. “Most everyone is thrilled to be a part of history.”
The group is currently working on restructuring the board. At the first concert, Small served as Executive Director and principal flutist. Directors are now in place which will make it less stressful for the next performance, according to Small.
Each concert budget is roughly $10k although most staff and musicians donated stipends to pull off the first event. Fundraising, marketing, preparing music folders for musicians, music preparation, poster and program creation, printing and many more tasks are being addressed now for the next event in May 16, 2020.
Musicians have other work obligations but are counting on each season containing more concerts as funding is gained.
The new Chamber Orchestra needs donations and volunteer assistance.
Support us with donations, attending concerts, volunteering with administrative duties and at events (ticket table, set up/ break down, ushers) including fundraising events. socials, either donate and/or bid on silent auction items that will be at our concert on Saturday, May 16 at 2:30 pm at Redemption Pearland Church,” Small said. ”Donate items such as office supplies, black folding chairs with cart, music stand cart, office/storage space, probably anything you can think of. Donations for purchasing music are also appreciated. Music is expensive.”
The group has been living on borrowed music and composer friends who have donated their services.
To help, contact Small at 713-385-5774, or [email protected].