Community members are being invited to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and enjoy two upcoming musical performances.

The Fenton Community Orchestra is a community - supported orchestra that provides a place for musicians of all ages to connect through music by offering an educational and entertaining music program for its members and audiences. FCO and the Fenton High School Jazz Orchestra will host two performances at 7:30 pm on Friday, December 7th and Saturday, December 8th at the Fenton High School. The concert will feature a variety of classical and jazz favorites with a flurry of Christmas and holiday songs mixed in, performed by the Fenton Community Orchestra (FCO), Fenton High School (FHS) Jazz Orchestra, FCO’s Wind Ensemble and FCO’s Simply Strings. Selections will include Mozart’s Symphony No. 4 in G Minor, Fantasia on Greensleeves, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 in C Minor and A Christmas Festival by Leroy Anderson among others.

FCO Music Director Andy Perkins says they’ve been working on some difficult and fantastic literature, noting every year they mix up selections to offer audiences something familiar and something new. Perkins says “We also have a wonderful relationship between the FHS Instrumental Music Program and the Fenton Community Orchestra, each allowing the other program to expand and support one another. Band students benefit from the educational experience of performing alongside string musicians in an orchestral setting and the FCO is fortunate to be able to use the FHS Rubi Zima Auditorium for our seasonal concerts and the FHS band room for evening rehearsals.”

Board Member Eric Szczepanski also serves on the City of Fenton Arts and Cultural Commission. He says they’re meeting a community need and he’s in awe of how far the organization has grown since he last served on the board. From 2013-15, he says the orchestra grew to 70+ members and the 2015 spring concert was standing room only. Szczepanski says that was a great problem to have and they began strategic planning sessions and invited community input to address the need, which led to adding a second night to their concerts. Wind Ensemble and Simply Strings were also formed in addition to the full-orchestra. Wind Ensemble offers opportunities for wind, brass, and percussion players while Simply Strings gives beginner and intermediate string players the chance to perform and develop their skills.

The concert is free to the public. Details can be found by visiting the provided link. (JM)