Memphis Repertory Orchestra exists to “shape the next generation of orchestral musicians”. Started in January 2011 by William ‘Buddy’ Langley, MRO grew out of a desire to see Memphis music thrive and to specifically see Memphis become a “new epicenter for classical music”.
MRO has 2 roles that are built out of their name.
1. Music – All concerts performed by MRO are free. This is done out of an effort to keep classical music accessible and relevant to all. “You might have to spend $80 on a ticket typically for a classical concert,” says Executive Director Jordan Stephens, “We are able to encourage students to go to our concerts for free. They don’t have to pay. At worst, they lose an hour and a half of their night”. This way MRO is able to expose Memphis to classical music as they strive “to reach an even broader audience by getting the younger generation involved in the process”.
2. Repertory – MRO serves as a teaching orchestra. It is mainly comprised of high school and university students. Local and professional musicians also serve to play alongside and mentor members of MRO.
Ultimately, MRO strives to create and train their members as realistically as possible. “If you come to one of our concerts. What you’re hearing are 4 rehearsals from that week,” says Stephens. The intent of MRO is to “offer student musicians an opportunity to perform and rehearse the way a professional orchestra does – with only a few intense rehearsals and then a concert”. Everyone is expected to come prepared, know their stuff, and strive for professionalism. All players are completely volunteer. It is “music for music’s sake”. Those involved are passionate about music and want to project that back to Memphis.
Memphis Repertory Orchestra’s next concert is May 17.
As with every MRO event this concert is free and open to the public.
Facebook event details here.
When: May 17th, 8pm. Free.
Where: Buckman Performing Arts Center (60 Perkins Extd. Memphis, TN 38117)
Out of town and can’t make it in person? No worries, MRO live streams all their events online here.
Want to listen to MRO and support local music? Check out their latest CD that was recorded, produced, made, and manufactured 100% in Memphis here.