The Piedmont Symphony Orchestra
Proudly based at the Rice Theatre of the Highland Center for the Arts, the Piedmont Symphony Orchestra is quickly emerging as the premier orchestral ensemble of the Greater-Piedmont region. Established as the Piedmont Regional Orchestra in 1996 by Founding Conductor Michael Hughes, the PSO provides local musicians and audiences with a variety of traditional, contemporary and classical music, appealing to a wide variety of tastes. In 2005, Glenn Quader became the second Music Director of the PSO.
In 2007, the PSO increased its paid core to twenty members. The members of the Orchestra are musicians from Fauquier County and the neighboring communities. The group provides an opportunity for amateur and professional musicians, as well as advanced students to work together. These live concerts enrich our community and enhance the cultural education of people young and old.
The Warrenton Chorale
The Warrenton Chorale is a non-auditioned community organization that has been in existence since 1953. It was started by Dick March who invited choir members from area churches to join him to form a community choir to sing songs of the Christmas season. Several years later Barbara Stinson took over the group and directed the Chorale for 33 years during which time the participation grew from 12 singers to over 100. From 1993 to 2012, Steve Aiello, was the director for the group. Steve added a Saturday matinee to the Christmas performances as well as an annual spring concert.
The current director is John Maerhofer who began his directorship of the Chorale with their 60th anniversary concert.
The Youth Chorale, originally named the “Children’s Choir” was added in 1967 under the direction of Barbara Stinson with 22 singers, and since that time has averaged 30-35 voices. Under the direction of Sue Ellen Kinser, their participation continues to be a valuable experience for the children, and many go on to join the adult group. The Youth Chorale performs their own program as part of Christmas in Music, as well as joining the adults in several combined numbers, a wonderful blend of all the voices.
The Handbell Choir had its inaugural year in 1974 with 7 ringers under the direction of Barbara Stinson, and they have played every year since then, except two. The Warrenton Chorale Handbell Choir is a significant part of the Christmas in Music concert, presenting their own solo pieces and providing a wonderful addition to some of the choral numbers. Under the direction of Bob Schoenike since 2002, the group of 12-14 ringers performs with over five octaves of handbells and hand chimes and plays a wide variety of medium to difficult music.