DeKalb Symphony Orchestra brings music to the community

Libby Whittemore performs live with the DeKalb Symphony Orchestra.

by Justin Beaudrot

The DeKalb Symphony Orchestra brought pops to music lovers July 17 at the Marvin Cole Auditorium on Georgia Perimeter College’s Clarkston campus. This was the orchestra’s 50th annual Pops Concert.

Dressed in black bowtie and white coat, Conductor and Artistic Director Fyodor Cherniavsky began the concert with An American in Paris suite by George Gershwin, arranged by John Whitney. The piece showcased the orchestra’s jazz and blues skills. Cabaret singer and Atlanta native Libby Whittemore brought energy to thestage as she performed 16 selections including Swanee and I Got Rhythm. She was accompanied by her trio (Robert Strickland on piano, Joel Morris on drums, and Dave Goodwin on electric bass guitar) and the full orchestra.

Whittemore said The Man That Got Away, one of the more somber songs of the evening, is her “favorite Judy Garland song of all time, and the chance to do it with an orchestra is a dream come true.” Whittemore and the DSO have performed together for the past six years.

DeKalb Symphony Orchestra’s annual Pops concert includes creatively lit backgrounds to enhance performances. Photos by Justin Beaudrot
DeKalb Symphony Orchestra’s annual Pops concert includes creatively lit backgrounds to enhance performances. Photos by Justin Beaudrot

For 50 years, DSO has performed live locally. The orchestra consists of 85 musicians, many of whom are community volunteers and music students committing 200 hours each per year.
Cherniavsky, who grew up in a musical family, received formal musical training at Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. He was appointed music director and conductor in 2006.

As part of the orchestra’s 50th anniversary, the DSO has introduced six world premieres this season. These world premieres came from individuals associated with GPC in some way–current or former faculty and former students.

The next DSO concert is the All Orchestra Concert at 8 p.m. on Sept. 29 when Hanson’s Symphony No. 2 will be performed.

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