Pacific Chamber Orchestra (PCO), a premier professional ensemble based in Livermore, was co-founded in 1989 by Music Director and Conductor Lawrence Kohl. Throughout the year, this regional ensemble of eight to 42 experienced, professional musicians enriches local communities with inspiring performances, versatile repertoire ranging from Baroque to classical symphonies of Mozart, Beethoven, and Brahms to more contemporary works, along with engaging educational programs. For the upcoming 2022-2023 season, PCO will perform a series of four concerts held at Livermore's Bankhead Theater and St. Stephens Episcopal Church in Orinda.
"PCO blends the intimate clarity of chamber music with symphonic power to create an enticing palate of tonal textures," says Leslie Silberman, Development and Communications Manager. "Maestro Kohl's concert programs are uniquely designed to illuminate the connecting musical threads of works performed. PCO's main thrust is to bring the finest musicians to the Tri-Valley and Lamorinda regions, so that top artistic quality can be experienced by local audiences in an accessible, intimate fashion."
On September 17 and 18, the PCO concert series opens with the program Courageous, featuring captivating folk music and dances from Ukraine and other Central and Eastern European regions. On November 26 and 27, the Glorious program will uplift audiences with the sublime melodies and thrilling voices of Handel's beloved "Messiah" led by Chorus Master Dwight Stone. A third, bonus performance of the Glorious program will be performed at a Pleasanton venue on November 25 although this performance is not included in the season ticket package and requires a separate purchase.
In 2023, the Passionate program on March 25 and 26 will include Piazzolla's "The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires" along with works by Telemann, Corelli, and Vivaldi. On May 20 and 21, PCO's Refreshing program will include Handel's "Water Music Suite," along with two delightful English works by Sir Edward Elgar and Gordon Jacob's "Little Symphony." Season tickets are now available for purchase. Individual tickets go on sale to the general public on July 18.
Last year, PCO launched the Dream American program, a reading workshop of new works by emerging composers which represent an aspect of American cultural heritages and diversity. This successful program is returning this fall, according to Silberman. "One of the exclusive benefits of PCO season ticket holders is a special invitation to attend these composer workshops and witness the readings first-hand."
PCO provides free in-school educational assemblies for over 12,000 elementary students in multiple school districts that introduce students to basic music fundamentals, as well as holding clinics for middle and high school strings students and full orchestra school-day matinee performances, notes Silberman. Recently, PCO hosted a full house of 370 second- through fifth-grade students, teachers, and parent chaperones from four different Pleasanton schools for a matinee performance held at the Amador Theater.
Prior to the concert, all of the teachers of students attending were provided with instructional materials to help familiarize students with various instruments, concepts and themes being presented, along with pre- and post-concert activities and projects included to help deepen their overall musical experience. These educational programs are made possible by grants from the City of Pleasanton.
"PCO strives to expand its reach in our surrounding communities and promote support of our organization not only through ticket sales and grants, but also through individual and corporate donations in addition to sponsorship opportunities," says Silberman. "As part of this ongoing effort, PCO will extend special discounts to Hacienda businesses and community members as a show of appreciation for our long-standing relationship."