Azalea Magazine Summerville The Lowcountry SC

Modern Living in the Old South

Modern Living in the Old South

Close this search box.

Showcasing the Power of Sound

The Summerville Orchestra, one of the largest non-profit community orchestras in the country, unifies the community with symphonic harmonies.

by Eliza Chapman Bailey
Photography by Summerville Orchestra

From media to the arts, rallying calls take many forms that use various platforms to influence audiences. As technology plays a prominent role in our lives, it is difficult to distinguish reality from fiction. Refreshingly, the Summerville Orchestra’s concert series, Voices of Destiny, leaves no doubt on the authenticity of the human voice. Exceeding expectations, conductor Wojciech Milewski leads the Orchestra in a seamless tour de force of arrangements that convey mankind’s vulnerabilities, endurance, and triumphs. Tapping into our ethereal existence, their symphonic compositions engage in a synchronized balance that embodies the power of the human spirit.

In its 20th season, the Summerville Orchestra has grown from a few friends playing music to a full-fledged community orchestra comprised of members throughout the tri-county area and beyond. Milewski elaborates, “The majority are community members with full-time jobs who come together to create a symphonic experience without being paid. As a microcosm of the community, they feel strongly about the music they play and their experiences together. Care is taken to select music that speaks to the community and fulfills S.O.’s vision to create a musical experience accessible to all and to build community relationships that will transform our cultural landscape and dialogue.”

Whether the message is cultural, political, or philosophical, their goal is to use the power of sound to engage the mind and evoke emotions. Instrumental harmonies convey uplifting wisdom and inspire the community to share in each other’s collective voice. Summerville resident Rachael Mallett agrees, “My friends and I enjoyed the orchestra’s ability to put everyone at ease. Wojciech does an excellent job of making the symphony light and fun. It was nice to see people in the audience, some we knew, smiling and laughing along with us… sharing a common experience.”

Under Milewski’s direction, the Summerville Orchestra won the American Prize National Nonprofit Competition in the Performing Arts community division in 2023. The capture of the American Prize solidifies their place among the best-performing artists, directors, ensembles, and composers. Encompassing classical and non-classical pieces with a full-scale professional repertoire and newer works, their mission is to share our love of music by engaging and enriching our community through the evolution of orchestral art.

They intend to unify people of all ages and walks of life with varied compilations that speak of our individual and collective humanity. As a pivotal player in the community, they offer (either for a charge or no cost) concert series, encores, small group concerts, educational outreach, discussions, and support for a youth/junior philharmonic orchestra.

Classically trained musician and patron Lisa Randle shares, “I am always amazed at the artistry and professionalism of the musicians. Conductor Wojciech Milewski’s endearing stage presence and musical selections include classical standards, familiar movie and film themes, and something new and usual from a modern composer. No longer just for the affluent, the Orchestra brings a spellbinding musical experience to everyone.”

The Summerville Orchestra is a community-based non-profit organization representing the power of the arts. It is an archetype of Summerville’s collaborative nature to support the endeavors of others to create cultural and economic cohesiveness. To learn more about the orchestra’s legacy, performance dates, auditions, donations, volunteer opportunities, and general information, please visit their website at AM

Share this Story
What's New

Ever Edisto

Nestled within the captivating expanse of the Lowcountry, Edisto Island stands as a timeless sanctuary