It’s not every day that members of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra show up in the Northwest and give free performances. But it does happen several times a year.
Dove of Peace Lutheran Church is the benefactor. Each winter, the church pays musicians to offer concerts for the community. The donation hat does make the rounds, so to speak, but 100 percent of the collection goes to designated charitable organizations.
“This series was conceived as a community outreach to the neighborhood in offering top-quality music and also lifting up a charity to support with each of these programs,” said Eric Holtan, the church’s music director.
This year’s winter series will focus on music of the 18th century.
“We felt that was broad enough to present the real biggies in classical music,” Holtan said. And indeed, that covers Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, Vivaldi and Haydn.
The first concert, titled “Italian Masters,” will take place Sunday, Nov. 30. Like all of the concerts, it is set for 2 p.m. in the church sanctuary.
The “Italian Masters” concert features the autumn and winter suites of Antonio Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons.”
“That decision was driven by the fact that we were going to have this program right in the middle of the holiday season,” Holtan said. “We decided that was a seasonal change, so that brought this piece to mind.”
The concert also will feature Tomaso Albinoni’s Adagio for Strings and Organ, which frequently makes it into holiday concerts, and Benedetto Marcello’s Concerto for Oboe and Strings in C Minor, featuring Lindabeth Binkley, the Tucson Symphony Orchestra’s principal oboist.
The second concert of the series is titled “Baroque Java.”
Featuring Johann Sebastian Bach’s piece nicknamed “Coffee Cantata,” the Sunday, Jan. 4, concert promises to cure New Year’s hangovers.
This piece, complete with chorals, was possibly first performed in a saloon or establishment serving coffee, Holtan surmised.
“It’s about the joys and vices of drinking coffee,” he said.
A translation from German will be provided. And for people who prefer the classics, orchestra members will also perform Bach’s Fifth Brandenburg Concerto.
On Sunday, Feb. 1, the church will play host to the Kingfisher Quartet, a group of Tucson Symphony Orchestra musicians who kept ending up together at the Kingfisher Bar and Grill after rehearsals and decided to start a string group.
They’ll perform the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and — in commemoration of the 200th anniversary year of Joseph Haydn’s death — the music of Haydn.
On Sunday, March 15, Dove of Peace Lutheran Church will end its music series with a touch of Carnegie Hall class as pianist Stephen Carlson performs music by Ludwig van Beethoven and, again, Haydn.
Carlson, who has performed in the prestigious New York hall, attended school with Holtan as both an undergraduate and a graduate student.
The charities benefiting from donations collected during the four concerts are, respectively, Emerge Center Against Domestic Abuse, St. Andrew’s Children’s Clinic, Borderlinks and Tucson Indian Center.
What: “Italian Masters”
When: 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 30
Where: Dove of Peace Lutheran Church, 665 W. Roller Coaster Road