A Latin American Journey with the South Shore Orchestra

By: Julia Rhode Last Updated: October 24, 2015

With 11 historical years of musical excellence in Northwest Indiana, the South Shore Orchestra has certainly made a name for itself. Those in the area on Friday night were lucky enough to enjoy an exceptional performance rich with culture by the South Shore Orchestra at the Memorial Opera House as part of their inaugural season.

The South Shore Orchestra joined forces with Memorial Opera House to present yet another season of artistry. Their music has paid tribute to the 70th Anniversary of the End of World War II as well as featured a tango ensemble with music from Cirque du Soleil. Friday’s performance took the audience on a Latin American journey.

Click here to see all the photos from Fiesta! 

Fiesta! included selections from West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein, Danzas Fantasticas by Joaquin Turina, tangos by Astor Piazzolla and the most famous guitar concerto in the world Concierto de Aranjuez by Joaquin Rodrigo. To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the guitar concerto, James Konsbruck, a Chicago guitarist who is now on the faculty at Valparaiso University, performed.

“The orchestra is absolutely amazing and professional. They look beautiful and sound beautiful. If you need an evening to unwind and decompress, this is the place to be, “ said Stacy Ruiz, Front of House Manager for Memorial Opera House.

Troy Webdell, founder and conductor of South Shore Orchestra, said, “I think the greatest thing about the concert is the orchestra. It is made up of professional, community and some student apprentice musicians who are coming together to create an amazing professional orchestral experience for the audience.”

Members of the orchestra ranged from a librarian, a middle school French teacher, to even a few high school students. A unique group of musicians got to take a break from their everyday lives to perform for an eager audience also seeking a break from the norm. The result was outstanding.

“This group is passionate about making music and sharing it with others. All members are professionally trained, but some have other day jobs than working with music. When they begin rehearsals about 6 weeks out, it’s like a reunion of symphonic sound and collaboration of chords to get it all just right.” said South Shore Orchestra’s publicist Kirsten Renehan.

“This event will bring an excitement and festive flair of Latin music to life!” Kirsten continued.

On top of their musical excellence, the South Shore Orchestra strives for an impact on their community. South Shore Orchestra describes their mission to be heavily influenced by education and community. Every year a $2,500 scholarship is awarded to a college-bound student who demonstrates musical dedication. South Shore Orchestra also collaborates with six other organizations to focus on youth development and life skill building. This after school art program called UNIVERSO gives the SSO the chance to teach the fundamentals of music to students.

For those who missed out on tonight’s musical journey, or those who simply can not get enough, there are still two more events to enjoy! Tickets can be bought at the door or found at http://southshoreorchestra.net/2015-season/.