Chamber Orchestra Hosts 'Mostly English' Holiday Concert

By: Staff Reports and Contributors

Topics: Local Music

Jean Huang, violin, performing in a Cape Cod Chamber Orchestra concert. JEAN KIRBY PHOTO

Cape Cod Chamber Orchestra will hold a holiday season benefit concert, “A Mostly English Holiday,” on Sunday, Dec. 15, 3 p.m, at Pilgrim Congregational Church in Harwich Port.  Proceeds from the performance benefit in part the Alzheimer’s Family Support Center of Cape Cod.  A pre-concert talk by conductor and founding artistic director Matthew Scinto will be held at 2:15 p.m.

The concert features English music for strings. Ralph Vaughan Williams' “Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis” was inspired by this English Renaissance composer, a work for double string orchestra featuring many of the orchestra members. Antonio Vivaldi, the famous composer of the “Four Seasons,” also gained much recognition from his concerto "L'estro armonico" (The Harmonic Inspiration); the orchestra will perform his impassioned Concerto Grosso in G minor. Welsh composer Grace Williams, a student of Vaughan Williams, composed her "Sea Sketches" in 1944, comprising of five movements depicting various moods of the sea. And prepared to be serenaded by Sir Edward Elgar himself.

“I’ve always found English music for strings to be filled with nostalgia, warmth and hope, feelings that I find fitting for a holiday season,” said Scinto. “Highlights include Williams’ 'Sea Sketches,' exploring the familiar moods of the sea through a little-known Welsh composer. 'Fantasia on a Theme' combines the spirit of two composers who remarkably lived nearly 400 years apart—famous English Renaissance composer Thomas Tallis and Vaughan Williams, a prolific composer who found his voice at the turn of the 20th century.”

The Alzheimer's Family Support Center is a non-profit organization serving families dealing with Alzheimer's and other dementia-related diseases throughout Cape Cod.  The organization’s mission is to identify and provide free personalized care planning and pragmatic counseling to the 10,000 families, individuals and caregivers on Cape Cod living with Alzheimer's and other dementia-related illnesses to help them navigate the complexities and the challenges they face across the span of these diseases, while providing a research-based family and community-centered social model.  Services include counseling, personalize care planning, community education, support groups, events and activities, information resources, referrals, outreach, dementia training and family and community centered care.

“We are quite proud to offer this concert to benefit the Alzheimer’s Family Support Center,” said Scinto.  “This volunteer organization is providing free and necessary services to caregivers on Cape Cod, and deserves the support of our entire community.”

CCCO features four concerts in Season Two: Towards the Sea, inspired by Scinto’s vision for the future of classical music on Cape Cod.  He is fulfilling his mission to collaborate with local Cape individuals, arts organizations, and causes to create a unique concert experience of high quality, enriching, and memorable orchestral music. The season opener, “Haydn the Pirate,” was performed in October, and is followed next by the holiday concert, “An Afternoon of Chamber Music” on Sunday, Feb. 16, and “Towards the Sea,” featuring a special commemorative piece honoring the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower's voyage to New England, on Sunday, April 19.

The Cape Cod Chamber Orchestra’s mission is to connect the diverse arts communities and individuals of Cape Cod inclusively. By collaborating with other disciplines of art and culture, the orchestra aims to create unique concert experiences while providing exciting, enriching and memorable orchestral music.  Featuring living composers is at the forefront of the orchestra's mission, bringing audiences closer to music and the beauty found across Cape Cod communities, positioned as an essential and educational element to each performance program.  Other repertoire emphasizes the championing of works of living composers, as well as the music of the classical canon.

Tickets to “A Mostly English Holiday” are $30 general admission, $40 reserved seats in the balcony or on the floor, and free for all students and children. A VIP package, including one reserved seat, a complimentary CCCO T-shirt and pint glass, and a meet and greet with conductor is available at $100.  Tickets are available at, by calling 508-348-9202, or at the door by cash or credit card, to venue capacity.

For more information visit, email, or follow Cape Cod Chamber Orchestra on Facebook and Instagram.  To learn more about Alzheimer’s Family Center of Cape Cod, visit