History and Music Combine: Celebrating Summerville Orchestra’s 20 Years

The Summerville Orchestra will commemorate their 20th anniversary by creating an exhibit and offering a series of public lectures. An initial version of the exhibit will debut at the Summers Corner Performing Art Center by May 17 – 18, 2024 for the orchestra’s last performances of the season. SC Humanities supported this project with a Major Grant.

The Summerville Orchestra is celebrating its 20 years of existence by showcasing the stories, scenes, and articles that have culminated over the 20 years, from its first beginnings to being named the #1 Performing Orchestra in the nation for a community orchestra. An initial small exhibit will be on display May 17, 2024, 6:15-7:30 and May 18, 2024, 1:45-3:00 at the Summers Corner Performing Arts Center (318 Gnarly Oak Lane, Summerville SC 29485), as well as at the orchestra’s Fundraiser later on in the evening. The exhibit will then be sent to the orchestra’s administrative offices until an expanded version is installed at the new Dorchester Heritage Center, when it is completed.

The exhibit “History and Music Combine: Celebrating Summerville Orchestra’s 20 Years” showcases the transformative story of a small group of musicians turning into a national community orchestra. Highlights from the exhibit will include:

“One small group, one big dream”- highlighting the orchestra’s beginnings
“Not all ends on high notes”- seeing the trials and tribulations of the orchestra including stolen music, and lack of space to perform
“From Georgia with Love”- Highlighting Alexander Agrest, who was the orchestra’s first resident conductor, coming from Soviet Georgia
“Listener’s Choice”- Winning the first Reader’s choice award in the Summerville Journal Scene
“The Orchestra Grows”- Introducing a new executive director, a new music director, and increasing the number of orchestra concerts
“Live and Let Live”- Showing the orchestra’s continued success including it’s brand new office space, new office staff, and 2021-2025 strategic plan.

The Summerville orchestra will also host a lecture series held throughout the Summer that will highlight in more detail the transformation of the orchestra. The events will be free, and more information will be available soon here and on the Summerville Orchestra website.

The mission of the Summerville Orchestra is to share our love of music by engaging and enriching our community, through the evolution of the orchestral art form, and their vision is to seek to create musical experiences accessible to all and to build community relationships that will transform our cultural dialogue and landscape. Learn more: https://summervilleorchestra.org/.

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c)3 organization is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos, and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually. South Carolina Humanities receives funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities as well as corporate, foundation and individual donors. The National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom.