Community support for the Holland Symphony Orchestra follows the 120 musicians wherever they play.
“We now have 11 concerts a year plus two more for our youth orchestras ” said Kay Walvoord, one of the founders of the 27-year-old organization that started with local musicians playing backup for a holiday chorale.
Today, there’s a variety of ways to hear the Holland Symphony Orchestra (HSO) play. Most consider the formal seating for 800-plus at the acoustically acclaimed Jack Miller Center for Musical Arts at Hope College. Check early as those concerts are usually sold out.
It’s “BYOchair” for the annual free pops concert held at the Henry VanderLinde Bandshell in Kollen Park.
This concert has evolved into a community event with local arts organizations hosting tables offering information about their programs. Bring a picnic basket; enjoy the music and the sunset over Lake Macatawa. The HSO Pops Concert kicks off a “South of the Border” program at 7:30 p.m., Aug. 12.
At the annual Pops at the Pier fundraising concert at Eldean’s Boat Shed, be prepared to mingle with 1,000 music aficionados, especially fans of Julie Andrews. The 2017 fundraiser features vocalists Diane Penning and Paul Langford singing tributes to Andrews. JK’s Bakehouse Gourmet Food Truck will do the honors with libations and refreshments. “Pops at the Pier: Diane Penning and Paul Langford” starts at 7:30 p.m., June 15.
Walvoord credits the sustained popularity of the HSO to its semi-professional musicians and to the leadership of Musical Director and Conductor Johannes Müller-Stosch. “The growth in our audience is largely due to him and the excitement he produces,” Walvoord said.
HSO started with musicians who played for the love of music; those playing in a formal setting, or a bandshell or in a boat shed, still do.