About Our Orchestra

The VCO is a multigenerational orchestra. Our mission is to promote musical participation, education, and enjoyment in the Venice area community through our weekly rehearsals and periodic performances. We rehearse weekly from September to April in a very congenial and supportive environment. In the summer, with fewer numbers, we continue to rehearse and perform chamber music.

The VCO was started in 2011 by John Mabardi, who formed a group of string players who wanted to get together to make music. The group now includes an increasing number of professional musicians who also enjoy playing just for the fun of it. The VCO has always been a string orchestra, but added piano in 2015, and seven single winds in the spring of 2019. There are no auditions for string players, but a basic intermediate level is expected.

All of the music the group plays are original arrangements by director Bob Delfausse or by Dave O’Fallon, a violist in the group. The repertoire includes the full range of classical music– from Baroque to 20th century, and an equal portion of popular music– from the Beatles to highlights from the great Broadway musicals.

For the last four years we have focused on presenting a very substantial concert each April, with proceeds from freewill offerings gong to local charities. In the fall we have always performed several holiday concerts for community dinners at the Salvation Army and local churches, Starting in the fall of 2019, we will be adding additional performances of more varied music.

Our Mission to the Community

The Venice Community Orchestra is a totally nonprofit organization, even if not by any legal definition. Our conductor and staff receive no compensation, musicians pay no fee to participate, and we manage to keep expenditures to a minimum by creating our own arrangements and emailing them to our musicians to print out.

For many years one part of our mission to the community has been to give concerts for community dinners at the Salvation Army and local churches during the holiday season. Having found a new home at Trinity Presbyterian Church, we will start in the summer of 2019 to perform at some Sunday services at the church. performing music capable of inspiring those attending services. While the VCO is not affiliated with any religious denomination, we look forward to the challenge of providing music able to resonate with the spiritual life of various faiths.

The VCO has also made a direct financial contribution to the community by donating all proceeds from our spring concerts to several local charities including; Inter Faith Outreach programs, South Sarasota Lunch for the Homeless program and Family Promise of South Sarasota County.