Musicians from all over Southern California are invited to perform in a concert in Encinitas next month.
The first-ever "Come Together" community concert— presented by Camarada for free on Jan. 14 at 5:30 p.m. at the Encinitas Community and Senior Center — will host amateurs and students who play string, woodwind, brass and percussion, as well as saxophone, alongside professional musicians.
Beth Ross Buckley, executive and artistic director of the Camarada chamber ensemble, said the group received a $3,500 grant from the city of Encinitas, and she and fellow musician Bridget Dolkas began thinking of what they could do to involve the community.
"Bridget brought up this idea, and I thought it was a great idea to get to perform with some of these people who have been coming to our concerts for a long time," said Ross Buckley, who plays the flute. "I think it's a really good social opportunity for people coming together to meet the professional musicians and perform with them. I think this will inspire a lot of practicing, people dusting off their instruments and getting reignited to play again."
Dolkas, who plays violin in the Pacific Symphony in Orange County, said she has played in similar events. She said participants have often played in more concerts.
She said she thought North San Diego County would benefit from such an event because "there's such a large community of people who have enjoyed music but maybe didn't go into it professionally."
Ideally, Ross Buckley and Dolkas are hoping for about 40 community participants, including students, in the concert.
The musicians must be proficient with their instrument and know how to read music fairly accurately, Ross Buckley said.
There will be no auditions. If anyone is interested, they should visit www.camarada.org to sign up and pay a $80 registration fee. Camarada will then send registered participants the music so they can practice before scheduled workshops and rehearsals Jan. 6 and Jan. 14.
The community musicians will play two pieces, including "Boléro" by French composer Maurice Ravel, and "Danzón No. 2" by Arturo Marquez.
Dolkas said she believes the Marquez piece, in particular, will help the musicians express themselves.
"That's going to be a really great example of how people can feel the music physically and express even more and engage even more with the music than just playing the notes," she said. "It doesn't really matter that you play everything perfectly; it's more about feeling the music a different way."
Roger Kalia, assistant conductor for the Pacific Symphony, will conduct the orchestras.
Dolkas considers him an ideal person to lead such an event.
"He's a young guy who's really thinking about how to engage all kinds of people with classical music,” she said. “Beth and I feel a very strong connection with him on that level. He's really done a lot of interesting work on building audiences and connecting musicians from all over together. He's very excited about this event and has given a lot of helpful input."
Dolkas added she believes she and Ross Buckley have created a program that will be rewarding for anyone who takes part.
Ideally, the women said they'd like to put this event on every year.
"It's just a matter of getting the word out to the right people because we know once they're there, they will be very glad they are," Dolkas said. "I think this is the kind of thing that can really take off because people will look forward to getting to play music when they otherwise have no opportunities to."