Poulsbo Community Orchestra's inaugural public performance June 30

Lt. Seph Coats, USN, is conductor of the Poulsbo Community Orchestra, which performs June 30 at Poulsbo City Hall.   - Contributed photo
Lt. Seph Coats, USN, is conductor of the Poulsbo Community Orchestra, which performs June 30 at Poulsbo City Hall.
— image credit: Contributed photo

POULSBO — The inaugural public performance of the Poulsbo Community Orchestra is June 30, 8 p.m., at Poulsbo City Hall.

The performance is free and open to the public. There will be a reception after the concert. Lt. Seph Coats, director of U.S. Navy Band Northwest, is the orchestra’s conductor.

The all-volunteer Poulsbo Community Orchestra was established in March as a not-for-profit, cultural organization. Steve Swann is its founder and executive director, and is assisted by music director Blake Yarbrough, and a small planning committee. Yarbrough is principal French horn and soloist with U.S. Navy Band Northwest.

Musicians with at least two years playing experience and ages 14 and older, may register with Poulsbo’s Parks and Recreation Department for scheduled rehearsal sessions. The first 10-week program ends June 30. The summer program begins July 14 and will be followed by a 12-week fall session commencing mid-September.

Currently, approximately three dozen musicians rehearse weekly at West Sound Academy. Instrumentation is represented by:

— Strings (violin, viola, cello, and bass).— Wind (flute, clarinet, oboe, and saxophone).— Brass (trumpet, trombone, tuba, and French horn).— Percussion (timpani and other percussion instruments).

Many of the musicians have dozens of years experience in orchestras, both in Kitsap County and around the United States.

The popular community band and orchestra movement throughout the United States provides rehearsal and performance opportunities, often without requirement for individual audition. Volunteer musicians perform locally with orchestras and wind bands in Bremerton, Bainbridge Island, Silverdale, Port Townsend, Sequim, and Port Angeles, and work to lend support to music programs in local schools.

Selections for the June 30 concert will include works by Bizet, Beethoven, and Sibelius. Orchestra sponsors include the Poulsbo Noon Lions Club, West Sound Academy, the Peninsula Music and Arts Society, Poulsbo Rotary Club, and the city’s Parks and Rec Department.

Musicians interested in joining the orchestra can email or call Poulsbo Parks and Rec at 360-779-9898. A registration fee is required; scholarships for young musicians are available.

About the conductorConductor Seph Coats volunteered to lead the orchestra. He has performed internationally as a bassist, then as a conductor for the last 16 years.

Coats attended the University of New Mexico, graduating with a bachelor of music performance before winning a position with the Tulsa Philharmonic Orchestra in 1997. He won an audition with the U.S. Navy Band in 1998.

While serving in Washington, D.C., he performed for presidents, royalty, heads of state, cabinet members, Supreme Court justices, senators, and congressmen, as well as before tens of thousands of concertgoers across the United States. During this time, he completed a master’s degree in instrumental performance at Catholic University.

Since receiving his Navy commission in October 2008, Coats has served as a Navy bandmaster. He has conducted in Europe, Africa, and the Pacific Northwest; and worked with the Conservatorio di Musica San Pietro a Majella in Naples, and the Rainier Symphony in Seattle.



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