Both RSO and the church characterize the free concert as a way of giving to the community. To be precise, it’s the RSO string section, plus two flutes and a timpani, that will accompany organist David Campbell in renditions of works by Wagner, Handel, Grieg and others.
“The combination of this beautiful pipe organ and the Roanoke Symphony strings is not something people get to hear everyday,” said RSO conductor and artistic director David Stewart Wiley.
“Music on the Corner” has been quietly offering free Friday night concerts for 10 years. “It’s an outreach program for St. John’s,” said John Wood, chairman of the church’s “Music on the Corner” committee.
Wood said the church continually works to ramp up the caliber of the music offered. “We are excited about using the musical resources that we have to really offer some big things.”
RSO isn’t the only musical nonprofit to take part in “Music on the Corner” this year. On Nov. 4, Opera Roanoke director Scott Williamson will conduct Puccini’s “Messa di Gloria,” a full Mass for orchestra and choir with solo parts for tenor, baritone and bass.
On Nov. 18, RSO flutist Julee Hickcox will play in a concert with pianist James Matthews. In January, Williamson and Opera Roanoke will return for a concert performance of the one-act opera “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” a 1951 Christmas opera that Italian American composer Gian Carlo Menotti created for NBC Opera Theatre, inspired by the Heironymous Bosch painting “The Adoration of the Magi.”
“We’ve got a nice full program,” Wood said.
“I would invite people to get there early,” Wiley said. “I really think it’s going to fill up fast.