For the eighth straight year, the Duke Symphony Orchestra will travel to the Lowcountry to present a benefit concert for Beaufort Memorial Hospital’s Keyserling Cancer Center.

The March 26 fundraiser will feature approximately 65 members from the North Carolina university’s ensemble performing a repertoire of symphonic classical works. Joining them again this year on two of the evening’s selections will be the Beaufort High School Voices, an advanced student choral group.

“We thoroughly enjoy coming down to Beaufort to perform for the community,” said Harry Davidson, director of the Duke orchestra. “Everyone is so welcoming.”

Local residents volunteer to host the visiting orchestra members during their stay in Beaufort. Over the years, many of the students have developed friendships with their host families.

“It’s been great on so many levels,” said Alice Moss, executive director of the Beaufort Memorial Foundation, which organizes the concert. “The energy these young musicians bring to the community makes it a truly magical event.”

Held at The Arts Center at Beaufort High School on Lady’s Island, the 7 p.m. performance will include works by such composers as Schumann, Barber, Liszt, Hovnaness, MacDowell and Grainger.

General admission tickets are $35. Patron tickets are $75 and include premium seating and a conductor’s reception following the concert at the historic Old Point home of Dr. and Mrs. John Gray. The entire orchestra also attends the reception.

“The students are not music majors,” said Davidson, professor of the Practice of Music. “Duke doesn’t offer music performance degrees. These are kids who played in their high school bands and have been taking lessons for years. They perform with the orchestra because they want to keep music in their lives.”

The Duke symphony rehearses twice a week and performs three to four concerts a semester, including a Labor Day pops concert for the Durham, N.C., community.

This will be the fifth year Voices will perform with the college students. The 50-member choral group’s repertoire includes a wide range of music from jazz to classical. In recent years, Voices has performed at a number of prestigious events, including the Heritage Choral Competition in Washington, D.C., the Disney Jazz Festival in Orlando and the South Carolina Jazz Festival.

“The Duke Symphony Orchestra concert is always a fun event for us,” said Choral Director Victor Varner. “It’s thrilling for the students to perform with a full symphony orchestra.”

Proceeds from the concert benefit the Keyserling Cancer Center and the Healing Arts Program.

“It’s one of our most successful fundraisers,” Moss said. “The money raised from this event is used to improve the services and experience of our patients and their families at the Keyserling Cancer Center.”

Once again this year, the foundation is offering discounted ticket prices for groups of 10 or more — $250 for 10 general admission tickets, $500 for 10 patron tickets.

For more information on the concert or to purchase tickets, call the Beaufort Memorial Hospital Foundation at (843) 522-5774.




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