In a grassroots effort, the Southern Delaware Orchestra (SODELO) was recently born because of the vision of three local musicians with the desire to share their talents. Their inaugural concert took place on July 16th in the Bethel United Methodist Church on Fourth Street in Lewes.
Eva DelGallo and Steve Greifer created the concept, asking other string instrument talent to give it a try. It was greeted with enthusiasm, with over 30 showing up for the first rehearsal, and has grown to about 40 in just a few short months.
Practicing at the Harbor Lights CHEER Center, and performing on the Bethel church stage, the first concert was a success with a full house in attendance. DelGallo and Greifer even recruited University of Delaware’s Director of Orchestral Activities James Allen Anderson as the music director and conductor.
With equally as much passion for community ensembles, Anderson jumped at the opportunity, displaying his conducting talents and experience adeptly. DelGallo, a violin and cello instructor brings her teaching skills along. She credits Griefer for the vision and experience to help her organize the orchestra, which has only been formed since May 5th!
While there are varying degrees of playing experience amongst the musicians, Anderson works diligently in preparation for upcoming classical concerts.
Anderson has also served as Director of Orchestral Activities and Music Director of University of Delaware’s Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, and Opera Theater since 2011. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music and UNC/Chapel Hill, he has led professionals including the Butte Symphony Association and North Carolina Symphony, orchestras at Appalachian State and University of Montana and conducted an impressive number of international ensembles and world premieres. He has also served as President of the International Conductors Guild.
In a Facebook post recently, he shared, “I am thrilled to be collaborating with passionate and inspired musicians from Southern Delaware as we launch a new artistic organization we believe will embrace and reflect the wonderful spirit of this community.”
SODELO is expected to perform three to four concerts a year. The group is in the process of forming a board of directors to include both musicians and community members. The ensemble already has its own logo – appropriately, and seashell to reflect its coastal presence.
Interested fans or musicians new to the group are encouraged to join SODELO’s Facebook group for updates and other information.
With so much to do around Sussex County, the formation of a community ensemble is just one more example of the spirit of our neighbors. As one member of the orchestra posted, quoting the great Russian composer, “Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime isn’t enough for music” ~Sergei Rachmaninov.
Read more about their Inaugural Concert:
Pictures from the group’s Facebook: SODELO (Southern Delaware Orchestra)