September 5 is the date for the first rehearsal of the 18th season for the Senior Suburban Orchestra, based in Downers Grove. The orchestra (SSO) was founded by musicians who wanted an organization which would provide retirees an opportunity to continue playing orchestral music, while respecting such concerns as stamina and nighttime driving.
The SSO plays hour-long concerts in a variety of venues: schools, retirement homes, community and corporate meetings, etc. All concerts are scheduled during daylight hours, usually on weekdays.
While players in the orchestra range in age from the teens to the 80s, there are no age requirements for membership. The musicians come from many diverse locations throughout the western suburbs, from Oak Park to Joliet. The SSO is conducted by Dan Pasquale D’Andrea.
The orchestra’s music is basically classical, with plenty of Broadway, Hollywood, marches, dances, and popular music for variety. Concerts normally include a sing-along with audience participation. This season’s sing-along will feature tunes by Ray Henderson, including “Bye-Bye blackbird,” “That Old Gang of Mine,” and “Five-foot Two.”
The orchestra would like to expand in size. Musicians with playing experience on orchestral instruments (even if it was long ago) can contact the SSO personnel manager Lori Davis (630-530-2910, or email@example.com). There are current openings on violin, viola, cello, double bass, percussion, and some woodwind and brass sections. The orchestra rehearses on Tuesday afternoons, at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, 5739 Dunham Road, Downers Grove.