Since its inception in 2008, the Dorchester Symphony Orchestra has made strides to open the neighborhood’s ears to classical music. Its home venue is the Parish of All Saints where violinist Annie Chen from the New England Conservatory will join the group on Sunday, April 10 at 3 p.m. The DSO and Chen will perform Mozart’s Violin Concerto #5, the Marriage of Figaro Overture and Hadyn’s Symphony #101. Tickets are $10 at the door and children under 12 are free.
DSO music director and conductor William Shoucair takes an approach different from many conductors: that of an orchestra member. As a classically trained trumpeter, he understands musicians’ needs, how they think and feel when spoken to and directed in a certain way, and what does and doesn’t work for them. Many players are NEC students and others are principal players from ensembles such the Newton and Wellesley Symphony Orchestras.
Over its short life, the DSO has garnered support from neighborhood associations, city councillors and Mayor Menino and has collaborated with local organizations such as the Boston City Singers and the Dorchester Historical Society.
“I think that we’re just one piece of a larger puzzle,” Shoucair says.
The DSO is making a name for itself as a top quality orchestra through its fine concerts, but it gives back to the community through its educational program, “Meet the Orchestra.” At these events, children are invited to meet DSO members, touch the instruments and see how they are played individually and together to form an orchestra.
Children and all audience members are treated to the works of many recognizable classical composers: Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn and Mendelssohn, among others.
“I think looking at these [musical] pieces, they’re like Shakespeare plays,” Shoucair notes. “You can always go back to them and find something new and find something fresh.”
The group has received positive feedback from residents at past concerts and appearances. Shoucair hopes to give the multi-cultured Dorchester not only a taste of classical music but also something more.
“We have one of the top orchestras in New England and I want that to become a point of pride for the community.”
The DSO is a non-profit organization, eager to improve the community through quality classical music and education for local youth. If you want to get involved, donations of both time and money are appreciated. Active volunteers and board members are welcome. For more information, visit dorchestersymphony.org.