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Heart of Texas Orchestra’s Heart is in the Classics, But You Might Hear Polka

Cellist Mary Jane Avery and the Heart of Texas Orchestra are getting ready for three upcoming concerts. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

While modern music changes with the decades, classical music has “stood the test of time,” said Joe Mantheiy of the Heart of Texas Orchestra.

“I play a range of music, and my personal favorite is classical music. It’s the best-written music. If it’s done correctly, and people listen to it critically, they can appreciate the genius of it.”

And with the Heart of Texas Orchestra based in the Highland Lakes, you don’t have to travel far to witness that genius.

The group has three performances in October.

Its Fall Concert is 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, at the Marble Falls Public Library, 101 Main St. The event is free to attend.

Then, the orchestra has two Concert at the Theatre performances at the Hill Country Community Theatre: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19, and 2:15 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20. The theater is located at 4003 RR 2147 in Cottonwood Shores.

The HCCT performance is a fundraiser for the theater, but admission is by donation. Mantheiy said whatever you can give is gratefully appreciated.

“But if you can’t give anything, don’t let that stop you from coming out and enjoying the show,” he said. “We want to share our music with the community.”

The Heart of Texas Orchestra rehearses every Sunday at First Baptist Church of Marble Falls. Several of the members also perform in Hill Country Community Band.

“The primary difference is the orchestra has strings,” Mantheiy said. “And we could always use more.”

The Heart of Texas Orchestra doesn’t just play classical music. The library performance will also include three Broadway showtunes, a jazz selection, and even some polka. Yes — polka.

And since the orchestra will be playing in a theater on Oct. 19 and 20, expect some showtunes there as well.

“One of the things we do is try to pick music that most people will know. I think it makes it more enjoyable,” Mantheiy said.

The orchestra tackles challenging arrangements as well, sometimes adding twists to well-known selections to make them sound new to those who’ve heard the songs many times before.

These community concerts are great ways to introduce more people to orchestral music. If you already enjoy the music and plan to attend one or all of the performances, bring a friend or family member who hasn’t experienced the power of classical music.

“Come on out,” Mantheiy said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

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