PIPM Pops Off Free Concert Season in Ashes of Erie Chamber Orchestra
Making high-quality orchestral music available to all people as Presque Isle Pro Musica debuts
Sunday, Sept. 15
When Gannon University ended its support of the Erie Chamber Orchestra in April 2018, ensemble and community members sought a solution to maintain the vision of orchestra founder Bruce Morton Wright by ensuring that high-quality orchestral music would be available to people of all economic standings in the Erie area.
The support came in the form of a board dedicated to continuing this Erie tradition and Luther Memorial Church, who stepped in to give the Erie Chamber Orchestra — now known as Presque Isle Pro Musica (PIPM) — a permanent performance space.
This Sunday, the resident orchestra will be hosting its first concert of the season. The show, aptly named "Summer's Last Fiesta," features eight works by Hispanic composers and music from across the globe, from Spain to Argentina to France.
Seating will be provided by Luther Memorial, but if listeners want to bring blankets or chairs to the outdoor concert, they are also welcome to do so. In the event of rain, the performance will move indoors to the Luther Cathedral, which has "outstanding acoustics, some of the best in Erie," said Carol Carlson, a PIPM board member.
Carlson recalled the Erie Chamber Orchestra performances. "The concerts were fun," she said. "And very, very popular. I mean the overflow crowds at every concert ... it's just amazing. It's a history that anybody could be very proud of."
"We've got the musicians, we've got the audience, we've got the library [music collection owned by the orchestra], and now we've even got a place to play!" Carlson enthused.
To continue ensuring free classical music to the public, and jobs to local talent, PIPM is continuing their search for funding from all avenues, both private and public.
Upcoming PIPM concerts are "free to everyone," said Carlson, "but donations will be cheerfully accepted." — Hannah McDonald
4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. // Luther Memorial Church, 225 W. 10th St. // Free // pipromusica.org