Blue Ridge Chamber Orchestra
Charlottesville's community string ensemble since 1988

News, July 2022: After too many pandemic disruptions, we are excited to announce that this fall Rahima Wagner will be our new musical director.
News, November 2022:  On December 10, we will have our first concert since the pandemic!  See details below. We are so excited to be playing music again, with our new musical director and a number of new musicians. 

The Blue Ridge Chamber Orchestra is a classical string ensemble of roughly two dozen musicians who love playing and performing, and who seek the camaraderie of others who share this vocation. For three decades, the BRCO has provided this opportunity. Orchestra members include adult musicians of all ages from Charlottesville and surrounding central Virginia. Our membership includes local music teachers and semiprofessional performers, veterans of high school and college orchestras, and advanced/intermediate adult learners.

We try to increase local interest in chamber and orchestral music through our concerts. Our two or three programs each year have featured local musicians as soloists, and music by local composers.

As a dynamic community organization, we are always open to adding new members, subject to balance in the sections. Please contact us if you are interested in joining. We rehearse on most Monday evenings during the academic year at Charlottesville Friends Meeting, 1104 Forest Street, in central Charlottesville.  

Fall 2022 Concert:  3 pm Saturday, December 10.  Saint Paul's Episcopal Church, Ivy.  On Owensville Road near US 250.   This is a new concert location for us.  Suggested donation $10.

                                            Making Music Together Again !

                                                       The Program:

                                         G. F. Handel         Entrance of the Queen of Sheba
                                Arcangelo Corelli         Concerto Grosso #8 (Christmas Concerto)
                                          Bela Bartok         Rumanian Folk Dances
                                      Edward Grieg         Holberg Suite
                                        W. A. Mozart         Divertimento #3 in F
                                         John Rutter         Suite for Strings

Contact us: Email: BRCO. Phone: (434)-295-1617.

Join us:  We welcome new musicians!  If you are an intermediate or advanced musician, and think you might enjoy playing with the BRCO, please use the above contact info. Rehearsals are Monday evenings from 7:00-9:00, at Charlottesville Friends Meeting, 1104 Forest Street, Charlottesville.  (This is next to the Community Lab School, formally known as Murray High School.)   First rehearsal of fall 2022 will be August 29.

Support us:  The expenses of the orchestra are primarily met through member's dues and the contributions of supporters.  We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and contributions to the orchestra are tax deductible.  Please contact us if you are interested in supporting us financially, 

Listen to us:
 Vivaldi  -  Concerto for strings in G minor, first movement (Allegro molto). Recorded at the BRCO concert of October 8, 2000.
 Ross  -  Sinfonietta Concertante, third movement. Recorded at the BRCO concert of December 8, 2007.
 Gluck  -  Orpheus and Eurydice, Overture. Recorded at the BRCO concert of December 8, 2012.

Watch us on YouTube:  BlueRidgeChamberOrch  
Telemann, Concerto for Three Violins in F major (soloists Joanna Freeman, Elizabeth Wagner, Hank Schutz).  Recorded December, 2016.
Bach, Violin concerto in E major (soloist Hank Schutz), and pieces by Sibelius, Dvorak, and Janecek. Recorded May, 2016.
Respighi, Ancient Dances and Airs, Suite no. 1, and Myslivecek, String Quintet no. 3. Recorded December, 2013.
Bach, Concerto for two violins (soloists Elizabeth Wagner and Hank Schutz), and Ross, Fantastic Dances. Recorded December, 2012.
Rutter, Suite for Strings. Recorded at the Spring 2010 concert.


Richard Baritaud

Conductor Rahima Wagner



                                                               History

The BRCO was founded in 1988 by local violinist and teacher Alexandra McCracken, with the purpose of providing a setting in which adult musicians of varying musical backgrounds might experience the joy of making music in a collegial, non-competitive setting.

We have had various conductors since Ms. McCracken left the area in the early 1990's.  For much of the 1990's, and then again from 2003 to 2021, our conductor was Richard Baritaud, who was a music educator in Charlottesville, after two decades as a professional violist in orchestras around the world.  Philip Clark conducted the orchestra in the late 1990's, followed for a few years by Paul Kim, then a graduate student of conducting at U VA.   In fall 2022, Rahima Wagner, an important member of our orchestra community for many years, is conducting the orchestra.

Musical highlights have included playing Concerto for Bassoon and Strings by Walter Ross, a professor of music at U VA who was a bass player in the orchestra for many years, and the premiere of Paul Kim's Dave Matthews Band Concerto, guest conducted by the composer.  We have played as part of both the Jefferson Thanksgiving Festival and the Bach's Lunch concert series. 

Hank Schutz served as concertmaster for many years, later sharing duties with Rahima Wagner. Our current concertmaster is Andrew Everton.

Recent Concerts

Our 2019 fall concert was held on Saturday, December 7, at Meade Hall, Christ Episcopal Church, in downtown Charlottesville. After opening with the Allegro movement from Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, the concert featured Bach's Concerto for Violin and Oboe in C minor, with Yasuko Kawasaki as oboe soloist, Rahima Wagner as violin soloist, and Carol Carr joining the orchestra on harpsichord.  The Elegie movement from Tchakovsky's Serenade for Strings finished the first half of the concert.  The concert continued with Summa by Arvo Part, Britten' Simple Symphony, and finished with another movement from the Tchakovsky Serenade: the Waltz. The program was also played the Monday before, at the Our Lady of Peace retirement community.

Our 2019 spring concert was held on Saturday, May 4 at Meade Hall. The program opened with Andante Festivo by Sibelius, followed by Vivaldi's Concerto for guitar in D major with Greg Brown as our soloist. The concert continued with Elgar's Serenade for String Orchestra, the Lento movement of Dvorak's String Quartet in F Major Op. 96, and finally String Quartet, op. 76, no. 1 by Haydn.  The program was also played the Monday before, at the OLOP.

Our 2018 fall concert was held on Saturday, December 15 at Meade Hall. The program featured Viola concerto in G major by Georg Telemann with our principal violist Ray Varona as our soloist. The concert opened with Corelli's Concerto grosso in G minor Op. 6, no. 8, also known as the Christmas Concerto.  Also on the program were the Adagio et grave and Allegro movements from Mendelssohn's Sinfonia no. 8 in D major and the Allegro movement of Dvorak's String Quartet in F Major Op. 96.  The program was also played the Monday before, at OLOP.

Our 2018 spring concert was held on Saturday, May 12 at Meade Hall. The program featured Violin concerto in D minor by Antonio Vivaldi with our retiring concertmaster Hank Schutz as our soloist. The concert opened with Mozart's Divertimento no. 1 in D major, and also included the Allegro moderato and Nocturne movements from Quartet no. 2 by Alexander Borodin,  St. Pauls Suite by Gustav Holst, and the Pizzicato Polka by Johann and Josef Strauss as an encore.  The concert served as a celebration of Hank Schutz's 30 years of musical leadership with the BRCO.  The program was also played the Monday before, at OLOP.

Our 2017 fall concert was held on Saturday, December 9 at Meade Hall. The concert opened with Alexander Glazunov's Theme and Variations, followed by Violin concerto in A minor by Antonio Vivaldi, with Rahima Elizabeth Wagner as our soloist.  The concert continued with Adagio for strings by Samuel Barber and  A Moorside Suite by Gustav Holst. The program was also played the Monday before, at OLOP.

Our 2017 spring concert was held on Saturday, May 6 at Meade Hall. The program featured Violin concerto in A minor by J.S.Bach with Joanna Freeman as our soloist. The concert opened with Edward Grieg's Holberg Suite, and also included Sinfonia Concertante by UVA professor emeritus Walter Ross,  Serenade op.10 by Ernst von Dohnanyi, and 12th of December by Tracy Silverman. The program was also played the Monday before, at OLOP.

Our 2016 fall concert was held on Saturday, December 3 at Meade Hall. The program featured Concerto for three violins in F major by G.P.Telemann.  Our soloists were Joanna Freeman, Elizabeth Wagner, and Hank Schutz. The concert opened with Andante Festivo by Jean Sibelius and Paul Hindemith's Eight pieces for string orchestra. The second half of the concert included Brandenburg Concerto no. 3 by J.S.Bach, John Rutter's Suite for strings, and Shenandoah Rhapsody by Walter Ross. The program was also played the Monday before, at the Westminster-Canterbury retirement community.

Our 2016 spring concert was held on Saturday, May 14 at Meade Hall. The program featured Concerto for violin in E major by J.S.Bach with Hank Schutz as our soloist. The concert opened with Romance in C major by Jean Sibelius, and also included the opening movement of Seranade by Anton Dvorak, movements I,III,V, and VI from Leos Janacek's's Idyll for Strings, and Divertimento no. 3 in F major by W.A.Mozart. The program was also played the Monday before, at WC.

Our 2015 fall concert was held on Saturday, December 5, at Meade Hall. The program included Music for String Orchestra by Walter Leigh, Rumanian Folks Dances by Bela Bartok, Flute Concerto in G major by Giovanni Pergolesi, Four short pieces by Cesar August Franck, Blues for Oaktown by Darol Anger, and Benjamin Britten's Simple Symphony. Katie Calaway was our flute soloist. The program was also played the Monday before, at OLOP.

Our 2015 spring concert was held on Saturday, May 2 at Meade Hall. The program included Concerto Grosso Op.6, no.3, in E minor by G.F.Handel, Violin Concerto, op. 4, no. 1 by Antonio Vivaldi, Symphony in A major by C.P.E.Bach, and Mendelssohn's Sinfonia no.1 in C major.   Elizabeth Wagner was our soloist for the Vivaldi concerto. The program was also played the Monday before, at  OLOP.

Our 2014 fall concert was held on Saturday, December 13 at Meade Hall. The program included Elegy for string orchestra by Morton Gould, Violin Concerto, op. 8, no. 12 by Antonio Vivaldi, Felix Mendelssohn's Sinfonia no. 3 in E minor, Concerto Grosso, Op. 8, no. 2 by Francesco Geminiani, and Edward Elgar's Serenade for String Orchestra. Hank Schutz was the soloist for the Vivaldi concerto.  The program was also played the Monday before, at WC.

Our 2014 spring concert was held on Saturday, May 10 at Meade Hall. The program included Two Swedish Melodies op. 27 by Johan Svendsen, Violin Concerto, op. 7, no. 8 by Antonio Vivaldi, String Quintet no. 1 by Josef Myslivecek, Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, and Mendelssohn's Sinfonia 2 in D major.   Paula Scott was our soloist for the Vivaldi concerto. The program was also played the Monday before, at OLOP.

Our 2013 fall concert was held on Saturday, December 14 at Trinity Episcopal Church, in Charlottesville. The program included Two Icelandic Melodies by Johan Svendsen, String Quintet no. 3 by Josef Myslivecek, Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite 1 by Ottorino Respighi, Concerto Polonois by Telemann, and the first movement of Mendelssohn's Sinfonia 8 in D major. The program was also played the Monday before, at WC.

Our 2013 spring concert was held on Saturday, May 11 at Meade Hall. The program included the Concerto no. 1, op. 10 by Albinoni, Ancient Dances and Airs, suite 3 by Respighi, Andante Festivo by Sibelius, Mendelssohn's Sinfonia 10 in B minor, and movements I and V of Caminos Argentinos by Jeff Manookian.  The program was also played the Monday before, at the OLOP, and selections were played in the Bach's Lunch concert series on May 9.

Our 2012 fall concert was held on Saturday, December 8 at Meade Hall. The program included the Overture and Dances of the Blessed Spirits from Orfeo and Euridice by C.W.Gluck, Concerto for two violins by J.S.Bach, and three pieces by University of Virginia professor emeritus of music Walter Ross:  Fantastic Dances, Sinfonietta Concertante, and Shenandoah Rhapsody.  The flute soloists for Dances of the Blessed Spirits were Kimberly Chafee and Matthew Heinrich and the soloists for the Bach concerto were Elizabeth Wagner and Hank Schutz.  The program was also played the Monday before, at WC.

Our 2012 spring concert was held on Saturday, May 12 at Meade Hall. On the program was the Abdelazer Suite by Purcell, Adagietto for strings by Robert Kajanus, John Ireland's A Downland Suite, Vivaldi's Concerto in G Major "Alla Rustica", Peter Warlock's Capriol Suite, and Pleasant Memories by Scott Joplin.  The program was also played the Monday before, at WC.

Our 2011 fall concert was held on Saturday, December 10 at Meade Hall. The program included Concerto Grosso op.6 no.8 by Corelli, Theme and variations for string orchestra in G minor by Glazunov, Villa-Lobos' lovely Aria Cantilena, as well as Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis by Vaughan Williams, Fiddler's Fury by Stafford, and Song to the Moon by Dvorak. The program was also played the Monday before, at the OLOP.

Our 2011 spring concert was held on Saturday, May 7 at Meade Hall. On the program was Concerto Grosso op.6 no.7 by Handel, Violin Concerto in B flat major by Vivaldi, Holberg Suite by Edvard Grieg, the waltz movement of Seranade for Strings by Tchaikovsky, and the Pizzicato Polka by Johann Stauss. Annie Kim was the violin concerto soloist. The program was also played the Monday before, at WC.

Our 2010 fall concert was held on Saturday, December 11 at Meade Hall. The program included Concerto Grosso op.6 no.10 by Corelli, Bach's Violin Concerto in A minor with concertmaster Hank Schutz as soloist, Mozart's Divertimento no. 3 in F, and A Moorside Suite by Holst. The program was also played the Monday before, at OLOP.

Our 2010 spring concert was held on Saturday, May 15 at Meade Hall. The program included St. Paul Suite by Gustav Holst, Concerto in C major for mandolin and string orchestra by Vivaldi, Serenade in C major by Ernst Dohnanyi, Spider Dreams by David Balkrishnan, and Suite for Strings by John Rutter. Charles Winkler was our mandolin soloist. The program was also played the Monday before, at WC.

Our 2009 fall concert was held on Saturday, December 12 at Meade Hall, Christ Episcopal Church in downtown Charlottesville.  The program included Sonata III A 5, Op. 2 by Albinoni, Idyll for String Orchestra by Janecek, Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 by Bach, and the aptly titled 12th of December by Silverman.  Our soloists for the Brandenburg Concerto were our own Elizabeth Wagner on violin, and high school students Chelsea Meynig and Jessica Kaisoum on flutes. The program was also played the Monday before, at OLOP.

Our 2009 spring concert was held on Saturday, April 25, at St. Pauls Memorial Church, located across from the Rotunda at U VA.  The program included Sinfonie a cinque, Op.2, no.3 by Albinoni, Sonata no. 4 in D major, Op1, no.13 by Handel, music from Bizet's Carmen, the early 20th century work Meditation on Svaty Vaclave by Josef Suk, and Skylife by David Balakrishnan, founder of the Turtle Island Quartet. The program was also played a week later, at WC.

Our 2008 fall concert "Britten, Barber, and the Blues" was held on Saturday, November 22 at Meade Hall, Christ Episcopal Church in downtown Charlottesville.  The program included Sonata a cinque, Op. 2 No. 1 by Albinoni, Music for String Orchestra by Walter Leigh, Adagio for Strings by Barber, Simple Symphony by Britten, and Blues for Oaktown by Darol Anger. The program was also played the Monday before, at WC.

Our 2008 spring concert "Odds and Ends: three hundred years of string music" was held on Sunday, May 4 at St. Paul's Memorial Church.  The program included Suite #2 from the Fairy Queen by Purcell,  Andante Cantabile by Tchaikovsky, Notturno in B by Dvorak, two piano preludes by Shostakovich arranged for string orchestra, Crisantemi by Puccini, and Sinfonia in F by Wilhelm Friedmann Bach, the eldest of J.S.Bach’s sons.  The program was also played the Monday before, at WC.

Our 2007 fall concert was held on Saturday, December 8 at St. Paul's Memorial Church.  The program included Coronation Music by Handel, Ancient Airs and Dances by Respighi, Serenade for String Orchestra by Elgar, and Sinfonietta Concertante by our own Walter Ross. The program was also played the Monday evening before, at OLOP.

A very successful Mothers Day spring concert was held on May 13, 2007, at Temple Beth Israel in downtown Charlottesville. The program included Albinoni’s Concerto for Strings, Op. 7 No. 4, Arditi’s Il Bacio, Corelli’s Concerto Grosso No. 2, Svendsen’s Zwei Schwedische Volksmelodien, and Vivaldi’s Concerto in G minor, F XI no. 13.   The program was also played the Monday evening before, at OLOP.

Other Cville musical links:
Charlottesville Municipal Band
Virginia Viola Society



Maintained by Nick Kuhn  
Last update: Saturday, 19-Nov-2022 12:40:44 EST