The Gig Harbor Peninsula Civic Orchestra is celebrating its 13th season in Gig Harbor and is helping ring in the holidays with its annual holiday concert.
Set for 7 p.m. Dec. 17, the concert will feature a mix of holiday and classical music, said director Matthew Underwood.
“We’re going to do a little bit of Christmas music,” he said. “We are continuing our performances of Vivaldi the Four Seasons, so we’re going to play Winter.”
The orchestra is full symphonic orchestra composed of 45 musicians from a variety of backgrounds.
“Most of the people are from Gig Harbor, Key Peninsula,” Underwood, a viola player, said. “We have a few people from Kitsap County ... (and) a few people who come in from Tacoma.”
We’re going to do a little bit of Christmas music. We are continuing our performances of Vivaldi the Four Seasons, so we’re going to play Winter.
Matthew Underwood, director of the Gig Harbor Peninsula Civic Orchestra
Musicians in the groups come from all walks of life, Underwood said, from former teachers to professional musicians.
“We have basically all kinds of people,” he said. “Basically, you name it, we’ve got it.”
Also included in the holiday concert will be a tribute to Elvis — with a special guest appearance — and one of the most complicated pieces of music the orchestra has attempted yet: the overture to “Tannhäuser” by Richard Wagner, an opera written in 1845.
“That guy wrote a monster piece of music,” Underwood said. “That one’s going to keep us all busy for a couple of minutes.”
After 13 years in operation, the orchestra has collected a fair number of loyal listeners and has maintained a steady budget, a point of pride for Underwood.
“I am very, very proud to say that our orchestra has run with an ever increasing budget, but we have never ever, ever, defaulted on any of our bills,” he said. “We have always paid all of our bills and from early on we have always had money in the bank. For a volunteer organization with no set income, I’m pretty proud of that.”
We are so thrilled to be a part of this community and to be supported by this community. We’re having fun and as long as it keeps being fun we’re all going to keep going.
An orchestra teacher in Tacoma Public Schools currently working at Stadium High School, Underwood also directs with the Peninsula Youth Orchestra.
The Gig Harbor Peninsula Civic Orchestra has continued to grow and get stronger over the years and enjoys a special place in the community, the director said.
“We are so thrilled to be a part of this community and to be supported by this community,” he said. “We’re having fun and as long as it keeps being fun we’re all going to keep going.”
The Gig Harbor Peninsula Civic Orchestra’s Holiday Concert will begin at 7 p.m. Dec. 17 in the auditorium at Peninsula High School.
For more information on the orchestra or to inquire about auditions, contact Underwood at firstname.lastname@example.org.