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The KPAC Blog features classical music news, reviews, and analysis from South Texas and around the world. To listen to KPAC 88.3 FM, simply open the player in the gray ribbon at the top of this page and choose KPAC: Classical Music.

The Saltarelli String Orchestra, An All-Volunteer Orchestra With A Long History

Saltarelli String Orchestra
Facebook photo from an April 19, 2013 performance.

While the Saltarelli String Orchestra has been around for quite a while -- 45 years -- they've pretty much been under the radar.

"The Saltarelli String Orchestra is recognized at one of the oldest all-volunteer community string orchestras in the United States," said Linda Hart-Garrahan, who plays viola in the group.

The group is conducted by Florence Saltarelli and their concert for tonight has a pair of special guests.

"Aaron Prado -- he’s doing a special arrangement for us, a jazz arrangement -- and also his father George Prado will be playing with us, so we’re very excited" Hart-Garrahan said.

She said the music selection that the group plays is diverse.

"It can be light classical, pop, Broadway," Hart-Garrahan said. "That’s the wonderful thing about it because you never know what’s going to be on the program."

How does a volunteer orchestra work?

"If you can read music -- even just a little bit -- just bring your stringed instrument and come and play with us," she said. "Even if you’re a beginner and you want to expand your horizons as a musician and really play with other musicians, it’s a great opportunity."

If you wonder whether you’re ready for that kind of challenge, Hart-Garrahan says this:

"You’re never going to be ready sitting on that bench. We can help you."

Sounds like something you could check off the bucket list.

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii