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At 5th anniversary, Madison City Community Orchestra values its quality-of-life impact

MADISON – Madison City Community Orchestra or MCCO has reached its five-year milestone anniversary, having enhanced the town’s quality of life and deepening an appreciation for the fine arts.

“MCCO was born in 2015 for those who wanted to continue playing music instruments as an adult,” MCCO Director Sandy Weisner said. “With my lifelong dream and help of Frank and Robin Cotton, owners of Madison Band Supply, MCCO was created.”

Before 2015, Weisner had started a church orchestra but “it soon branched into the city orchestra when former Mayor Troy Trulock recognized the community’s need. Without support of Madison City leaders, we would not have become what we are today,” she said.

Today, the 70-plus-member community orchestra provides four major concerts annually and numerous ensemble concerts, participates at Madison Street Festival and Madison Chamber of Commerce events and offers a scholarship program to talented, college-bound youth.

“I’m very proud of our scholarship program. (We hope that) they will continue their musical journey,” Weisner said.

The concert series includes a classical program like “Planets” or Dvorak; summer concert for ‘Conductor’s Showcase’ with favorite pieces, patriotic tunes, pops with “Star Wars” or cartoons; and winter concert with sounds of the holidays.

A favorite concert was the Superhero program with a costume contest. “The community really came out and had a great time,” Weisner. Currently, MCCO is remotely learning Howard Hanson’s “Romance Symphony No. 2.”

During the year with COVID-19, MCCO members have learned the need for a stronger online presence and a way to remotely reach the community, along with in-person concerts. “That has been a definite challenge because of the need for recording/sound equipment, which we currently do not have,” Weisner said.

MCCO Board of Directors includes President Robert Price, Secretary Julie Anderson, Director of Finance Natalie Frazier, Director of Marketing Dian Beaubien, Director of Fundraising Jan Mason, Web Designer Sharon Euley, Librarian Steve Edwards, Concertmaster Meredith Kimmett, Assistant Directors Allison Edgecomb and Hobbs Hundley and Photographer Jim Lake.

To join MCCO, the instrumentalist must have four years minimum of playing experience, must be at least high-school age or arrange an audition with the director. MCCO does not charge membership dues. Currently, rehearsals are held on Mondays from 6:30 to 8 p.m. and will resume soon when COVID-19 diminishes.

“I am truly grateful and a little awestruck that we’ve turned five years old. So much hard work and dedication behind the scenes and players themselves, even during pandemics, to make this a success. I’m so very proud of everyone that keeps the music alive because the music is the most important … feelings it gives, joy, tears. That is our sole purpose,” Weisner said.

MCCO, a 501(C)3 non-profit organization, relies solely on donations. For more information, visit mccorchestra.org or Facebook.

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