Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra performs the works of Russian composers and more for East County

Guest trumpeter Dr. Jonathan Knight performs with the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra at Los Medanos College, Saturday night, November 23, 2013.

Guest trumpeter Dr. Jonathan Knight performs with the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Timothy M. Stuart at Los Medanos College, Saturday night, November 23, 2013.

By Allen Payton

A small gathering of East County residents enjoyed a wonderful concert by the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra, Saturday night at Los Medanos College

The concert opened with Overture to Candide by Leonard Bernstein with the full orchestra, which was then reduced to just seven instruments for a condensed, six-song version of L’Histoire du Soldat (The Soldier’s Tale) by Igor Stravinsky.

It was followed by the full orchestra, again, playing Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra in A minor, with Dr. Jonathan Knight providing a superb performance on trumpet, to round out the first set of the evening.

Antioch residents Jennifer Baston and Stuart Gillespie, play violin with the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra at LMC, Saturday night.

Antioch residents Jennifer Baston, left and Stuart Gillespie, play violin with the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra at LMC, Saturday night.

Led by Music Director and Conductor Timothy M. Smith, who was Professor of Music at Cal State East Bay for 22 years, the orchestra is made up of volunteer musicians ranging in age from under 20 to over 80, who come from various fields of employment, as well as students.

Two Antioch residents, a husband and wife team of violinists, Stuart Gillespie and Jennifer Baston, recently joined the orchestra.

Gillespie has been playing violin since he was in third grade, and Jennifer, a violin teacher in Pleasant Hill, started playing six years, later.

If you missed Saturday night’s concert, you can catch the orchestra performing the same one on Sunday night, November 24 at 7:30 p.m. at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek.

The orchestra will be performing at Antioch’s El Campanil Theater on May 10th, 2014. For more information about the orchestra, visit www.ContraCostaChamberOrchestra.org. For tickets to the El Campanil concert, visit www.ElCampanilTheatre.com.

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Jennifer Baston & Stuart Gillespie


Dr. Jonathan Knight on trumpet


2 Comments to “Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra performs the works of Russian composers and more for East County”

  1. Walter Ruehlig says:

    Well-written review, Allen. You are a man of many talents. I knew you were comfortable in the political commentary arena but didn’t realize you could report on the arts so well. Kudos.

    Walter Ruehlig

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