About the BBCO

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The Big Bend Community Orchestra (BBCO) provides opportunities for community musicians to learn and play orchestral music together, encourages school age children to become interested in music through educational programs, and performs orchestral music for the public. The BBCO is affiliated with Tallahassee Community College. The orchestra consists of more than fifty volunteer musicians and includes professionals, homemakers, music teachers, and students. Waldie Anderson, conductor from 1994 until 2004, co-founded the orchestra with music educator Ginny Densmore. Dr. James Croft led the organization from 2004-2007 and Dr. Shelby Chipman, FAMU Associate Director of Bands and Orchestra, has directed since the fall of 2007.

The BBCO has presented more than 77 concerts and performed over 325 compositions by a variety of composers of music spanning four centuries. Programming includes standard and lesser-known masterpieces of the orchestral repertoire as well as lighter classics and “pops”. The BBCO has enjoyed showcasing a variety of local talent including soloists of all ages from the orchestra itself as well as from the community. A “Young Artist Competition” is held each season in which the winners are given a chance to perform a solo with the orchestra. Three concerts are given each season and are usually held on Saturday afternoons at 3:30 so that senior citizens and families with children can attend. Children in the audience are given the opportunity to come on stage to see and hear the instruments “up close and personal.”

Rehearsals are held weekly September-April on Thursdays from 7:15–9:30p.m. in room CH165 in the TCC Communications and Humanities building, and dress rehearsals are scheduled just before concerts. Membership in the orchestra is open to all capable musicians on a space available basis with first priority given to adult community members, TCC students, and those not eligible for university orchestras. Orchestral string instrumentalists are always needed. With permission from the BBCO, college students can receive credit from TCC by signing up for MUN1180 in the Communications and Humanities Department. High School students must receive permission to participate. Anyone interested in joining the orchestra is asked to consult the website (www.BBCOrch.org) and contact the BBCO for details.

The BBCO recently incorporated as an independent organization and is a 501c(3) organization.  Many thanks to The Artist Series for all of the support over the years.