VCO News2019-03-26T23:00:34+00:00
2May, 2017

2017 Spring Concert Update

Venice, Florida, May 2, 2017 Message from Martin Himmelfarb, Vice Chair Interfaith Outreach and member of the VCO (Violin 2) – Our hard work paid off and not just musically. Despite the fact that many people had already returned north, our April 19, 2017 spring concert raised $2,356, enough to fund 5 months of the free lunch program for the profoundly needy at the Center of Hope. This was a huge success by all accounts and we have been booked in for next April 18 already. Nancy Simmonds (violin 2) told us that the Haley House benefit concert in early April raised $1,600. The level to which our playing raised the spirits of the guests at the Salvation Army and at the Holiday dinner and the folks at the SRQ airport was immeasurable. It was a great season and we look forward to our new season in the fall. Thank you all so very, very much. Our music making shows great purpose.

Here are three YouTube video clips from our concert:

12April, 2017

2017 Spring Concert

Venice, Florida, April 12, 2017 Fourteen-year-old cellist Jack Gallahan will perform with the Venice Community Orchestra in a concert to benefit others at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 19 at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Venice, FL.

A ninth grader at the Pine View School in Osprey, Gallahan will solo in Gabriel Faure’s Elegie Opus 24 on a gorgeous 300-year-old cello and join the orchestra in a concert of classical and pops favorites. Open to the public, the free concert will also include works by the Beach Boys, the Beatles, and highlights from the Broadway smash South Pacific.

Gallahan began studying music with piano lessons at the age of five. After joining his school orchestra, he re-focused his musical energies on the cello and began studying with Julliard artist Dr. Anne Alton. Recognizing the positive impact of music on the lives of others, he started a program called “Music for Medicine” and raised the money to purchase a baby grand piano for the lobby at Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

In addition to playing cello with the Pine View Orchestra, Gallahan performs with the “Concert Crew,” a group of local students who spread the joy of music by playing concerts at local nursing homes and assisted living facilities. When not playing music, he leads a club that 3-D prints prosthetic hands for people in need, based out of the Suncoast Science Center. He also captains a local rocket club and participates in numerous mathematics competitions. He hopes to study music and mathematics in college.

The Venice Community Orchestra, led by professional music performers and educators Bob Delfausse and Ann Alton, is comprised of dedicated amateur musicians who enjoy playing classics and pops together for charitable causes. They are assisted by professional musicians who have generously donated their talents and time to sit in and perform at the concert.

Although admission to the concert is free, donations will be requested to support the bag-lunch program of Interfaith Outreach, which provides over one hundred free lunches each week year round to those in South Sarasota County who need a helping hand.

Interfaith Outreach, a charitable organization, coordinates the distribution of free food for nearly 100,000 meals and snacks a year in the Venice area through four programs: BackPack Kids in conjunction with the All Faiths Food Bank, weekly community dinners that rotate among four churches, the bag-lunch program and in the winter a cold weather shelter.

The concert is at 6:30 pm, Wednesday, April 19. at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 508 Riviera St., Venice Island. No need for tickets. Just come and enjoy the music and kindly make a freewill donation to pay for the lunches. For more information, call St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 508 Riviera St., Venice Island, at 941-488-7714 or Martin Himmelfarb at 941-244-2061.

Concert Poster
Click to enlarge

Jack Gallahan will perform April 19 at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Venice to raise funds for Interfaith Outreach’s bag-lunch program for the needy of South Sarasota County.


19February, 2016

2016 Spring Concert

Venice, Florida, February 19, 2016 – The Venice Community Orchestra and Friends are pleased to invite family and friends to their Spring Concert. The performance will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 20st, at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 508 Riviera St., Venice Island. Freewill offerings will be accepted to benefit the lunch program for the homeless and needy of South Sarasota County. Bob Delfausse, VCO Conductor and Artistic Co-Director, will be conducting.

Concert Poster
Click to enlarge


29April, 2015

VCO Players Abound With Talent

Venice, Florida, April 29, 2015 – Bassist Nancy Leipold, who divides her time between Venice and Michigan, doubles on the French Horn…and on the violin…and on the alphorn…and on the banjo. And in addition to playing with the VCO, this retired nursing professor performs with the Gulf Coast Banjo Society at Snookhaven and with the Venice Concert Band, where she plays French horn and recently a banjo solo that was remarkable enough to draw the attention of the local media. This is a recent photo of Nancy, performing her solo in front of the ninety piece Venice Concert Orchestra. There were a thousand people in the audience. BRAVO!!

Nancy Leipold

Cellist Margaret Bartley, who summers in the Adirondack mountains of New York, besides playing in the orchestra is a writer with a book to her credit. “Grisha,” the story of legendary cellist Gregor Piatagorsky, was written as her master’s degree thesis in the Johns Hopkins University creative writing program. She became interested in the world renowned Russian cellist when she learned that his summer home was across the street from her husband’s childhood home in the mountains of upstate New York. Piatagorsky, along with other musicians of the NY Philharmonic, summered in the Adirondacks, where the orchestra and the Julliard School of Music both had summer programs. “Grisha” is sold on Amazon.com. If you decide to read it, leave yourself time, because once you start it, you won’t be able to put it down.

18March, 2015

Venice Community Orchestra Announces Spring Recital Details…

Venice, Florida, March 18, 2015 – The Venice Community Orchestra is pleased to invite family and friends to their Spring Recital. The performance will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 21st, in the Selby Room of the Sarah H. Pappas Professional Development Center (Bldg. 800, SE corner of campus) on the campus of the State College of Florida, 8000 S. Tamiami Trail, Venice, FL 34293.

Laurie Vodnoy-Wright, VCO Artistic Director, will be conducting the group as they play the following selections;

Manchester Suite (Nelson)
Fantasie (Mozart)
Ode to Joy (Beethoven)
Rondeau (Mouret)
Air in D (Handel)
Hornpipe (Handel)
La Rejouissance (Handel)
Trumpet Tune (Clark)
O Mio Babbino (Puccini)
Capriol Suite for Orchestra (Warlock)
Menuet from the 11th Symphony (Hayden)
Concerto in D Major Harp and String Orchestra (Vivaldi)

Family and friends are invited to join the VCO members after the performance for a modest pot-luck lunch celebration.

19February, 2015

VCO Members to participate in New College of Florida recital of In C

Venice, Florida, February 19, 2015 – Under the direction of Ron Silver, Producer of New Music at New College of Florida in Sarasota, several VCO members will be participating in a recital of Terry Riley’s composition, In C. The performance will take place at 8pm, 3/14 at the Pepsico Arcade on New College of Florida campus.

In C is a musical piece composed by Mr. Riley in 1964 and consists of 53 melodic patterns played in sequence. It is often cited as the first minimalist composition of the time period. The patterns are played consecutively with each performer having the freedom to determine how many times he or she repeats each pattern before moving on to the next. Each pattern can be played in unison or canonically in any alignment with itself or with its neighboring patterns.

“One of the joys of In C is the interaction of the players in polyrhythmic combinations that spontaneously arise between patterns. Some quite fantastic sounds will arise and disintegrate as the group moves through the piece when it is properly played.” Mr. Riley has said.

The VCO members participating in the performance are excited about playing a little outside their “comfort zones”!

14February, 2015

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Venice, Florida, February 14, 2015 – What better way to celebrate a Valentine’s Day VCO practice than with “treats”! At Since Saturday’s regularly scheduled VCO practice fell on Valentine’s Day, Laurie Vodnoy-Wright, our conductor/coach, suggested that we celebrate. So, several members brought in “treats” for everyone to enjoy. Rest assured, we had a strenuous practice “workout” to play off the calories!

VCO Valentines Day

9February, 2015

VCO Members play at Valentine’s Day Interfaith Outreach Dinner

Venice, Florida, February 9, 2015 – After our successful debut at Interfaith Outreach’s holiday dinner in December, we were invited back to St. Mark’s Episcopal Church for their dinner the Monday before Valentine’s Day. So, with the helping hand of Martin Himmelfarb (violist & IO Head Chef!) and under the direction of Franz Schneider (cellist & conductor), we were able to put together some Italian themed pieces which were real “crowd pleasers”.

One of the most gratifying aspects of the evening was joining several of the diners at their tables for dinner. The gratitude they expressed and that of the volunteer servers was, once again, overwhelming.

8December, 2014

VCO Members play at Interfaith Outreach Holiday Celebration dinner

Venice, Florida, December 8, 2014 – With our well tested and perfected Holiday Selections play list in hand, VCO members performed at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church for Interfaith Outreach’s very special holiday dinner.

With over 100 diners and 30+ volunteers in attendance, the VCO members played many recognizable holiday favorites. In fact, the tunes were so well known that an impromptu “sing-along” broke out!

What a Joyous way for us to enjoy the holidays and give back to our Venice community!

6December, 2014

VCO Plays at Sarasota-Bradenton Airport

Sarasota, Florida, December 6, 2014 – With the Holiday Season in full swing, what better way to get in the spirit than to play our Holiday Selections for folks on the go? So, that’s just what we did! On Saturday mid-day at the Sarasota-Bradenton Airport (SRQ), VCO members played for busy travelers coming & going AND family members awaiting the arrival of loved ones.

During the holidays, SRQ has several school orchestras and bands that play for travelers during the week. But, none on the weekends, the busiest travel days of the season. VCO was the first ensemble group to offer AND the only group of adults to every offer.

Pam Allen, SRQ’s Director of Volunteer Programs, said: “I was thrilled when VCO offered to play and very the expressions on the faces of our busy travelers and families said it all. Thank you very much for sharing the gift of music with us all.”

In recognition of VCO gesture, Pam, on behalf of SRQ, presented VCO members with a Certificate of Appreciation (and free Starbucks!).

VCOat SRQ 1

VCO at SRQ 2

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