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My Town: Rockford Community Orchestra announces new conductor for 2014-2015 season | Arts & Culture

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My Town: Rockford Community Orchestra announces new conductor for 2014-2015 season
My Town: Rockford Community Orchestra announces new conductor for 2014-2015 season

ROCKFORD, Mich. (Rockford Community Orchestra) –  The Rockford Community Orchestra is looking forward to an exciting season with new conductor, Nancy J. Summers, who started July 1, 2014.

The RCO board of directors made the announcement in July.

Rockford Community Orchestra Secretary Emily Lackey says Summers has an amazing background. For the past 13 years, Summers served as music director and conductor of West Michigan New Horizons Music Ensembles, which recently celebrated its 15th anniversary.  During her time with that organization, Summers oversaw growth in the number of ensembles offered, broadened the scope of their outreach performances and raised the level of musicianship. 

Summers worked to maintain a graduated program of bands for adults whose abilities ranged from beginner to advanced, offered a string ensemble and an invitation-only ensemble known as the Ransom Street Big Band. Summers has also hosted annual String Galas with participants from Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan.  She has served as guest conductor of the Metropolitan Orchestra of St. Louis, has conducted at the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre as a substitute and conducts both the Chancel Choir and the Adult Handbell Choir at the Grandville United Methodist Church.

The Rockford Community Orchestra, made up of players from throughout the West Michigan area, is looking for additional musicians, especially strings and brass including trombone and percussion, for the upcoming spring session. 

Formed in 1993 with 12 musicians, the Rockford Community Orchestra has grown each year, expanding its membership in 2012-2013 to include permanent wind, brass, and percussion players and a greater symphonic repertoire.

The Rockford Community Orchestra provides an open-door opportunity for musicians of varied skill levels to play and learn through the shared experience of music, and it is their mission to enhance the appreciation and understanding of orchestral music in Rockford and the surrounding communities. Rehearsals are Tuesday nights at the Rockford Freshman Center in the band room, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.  Musicians interested in joining can email rockfordcommunityorchestrami@gmail.com or call Don Brightman, Rockford Orchestra Board President at (616) 866-3517.