Middleton Community Orchestra Presents Winter Concert on February 27

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MTT News Desk's picture
By: 
Matt Geiger
Alice Bartsch will be the featured performer at the MCO's Feb. 27 concert.

The Middleton Community Orchestra (MCO) will present its Winter Concert on Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 7:30 p.m. at the Middleton Performing Arts Center. As the show nears, MCO co-founders Larry Bevic and Mindy Taranto recently took a few moments to reflect on the burgeoning community orchestra.

 
Your orchestra is approaching its third anniversary (in May). Has it met your expectations so far?
 
Larry Bevic: Yes, we had few expectations beyond being able to play great music well and expected an orchestra of 50 musicians but as we progressed, it became obvious that we assembled a very high quality group of over 75 musicians that has allowed us to program more challenging and exciting works.  We are happy to find that the satisfaction level of our players and our audience is very high. We expected to be playing for family and friends and in fact have found that we are reaching a very broad audience who appreciate hearing music played well and enthusiastically. 
 
What is the theme for your next concert? 
 
Larry Bevic: We call it “rising stars” as it is our desire to feature promising local talent.  Alice [Bartsch] will be playing the third Saint-Saens Violin Concerto as the centerpiece of our concert. She sounds really beautiful and the piece is very tuneful and accessible.  Rounding out the program are a variety of shorter works by Verdi, Wagner and Britten, all of whom have important birthdays this year. 
 
Your featured performer is also your regular concertmaster. What prompted you to choose Alice Bartsch for this honor?
 
Mindy Taranto: I heard Alice solo with the University last year as the winner of the UW Concerto Competition, giving a moving rendition of the Bruch Scottish Fantasy.  We knew right away that we wanted her to solo with our orchestra this year.  The orchestra loves her musicianship and her collegiality. She’s a wonderful asset to MCO.
 
Hundreds, if not thousands, of Middletonians have already been to at least one MCO concert. What would you like to say to invite anyone who hasn’t yet been to one of your performances?
 
Mindy Taranto: Our goal is to offer a wide variety of classical music in performances that don’t exceed more than 75 minutes.  We have encouraged student attendance of all ages by offering free tickets to them, in the hopes that families will come out to hear their new local orchestra that has featured a local rising star at every concert this year. We promise that if you attend one of our concerts, you will feel that you have gotten a lot for your money!
 
Tickets are $10 for general admission. Student tickets are free. Tickets will be available at the door, and are currently for sale at Willy St. Coop West or by calling 608-212-8690.
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