Beaufort Symphony Orchestra to perform “Homegrown Holiday” Sunday

By Connie Brotzman 

What could be more delightful than spending an afternoon enjoying two of Beaufort’s most talented young violinists in a lively “Homegrown Holiday” Concert, complete with traditional pops tunes and even a few sing-alongs to put everyone in the Holiday spirit. 

The Beaufort Symphony Orchestra (BSO) will perform the “Homegrown Holiday” at 4 p.m. Sunday at Sea Island Presbyterian Church. 

The featured artists are members of both the BSO and the Beaufort Symphony Youth Orchestra, and their musical gifts were nurtured from very early ages by their parents and teachers. 

“My parents played classical music for me even before I was born,” 15-year-old Eden Engle said. She began lessons at age 5, while 12-year-old Elyse Stromer, started at age 2, both girls studying under the well-known teacher, Ami Rabinowitz of Beaufort – a musician with BSO. 

“Once I started there was no going back – I absolutely loved it,” Stromer said. 

Engle has been a member of BSO since 2019, and she is also concertmaster of BSYO and Principal Second Violin of the Armstrong Youth Orchestra in Savannah. She received a scholarship from BSO to attend the Philadelphia International Music Festival. The daughter of Warren and Lori Engle of Beaufort, she also attended music camp at Florida State University, and Chamber Music Week at Peabody Institute in Baltimore, Md. 

“My parents suspected pretty early that I’d enjoy playing an instrument – and they were right,” Engle said. 

Stromer serves as violinist for the Sunday morning worship at her family’s church, Church of the Cross, and has participated in a number of regional music competitions and camps. According to Stomer, her parents, Jared and Nichole Stromer of Beaufort, are her biggest boosters. 

“They have traveled just about everywhere in South Carolina, taking me to regional and all-state orchestra events, talent shows and music camps.” 

Youth Orchestra founded 16 years ago 

The Beaufort Youth orchestra was founded 16 years ago under Maestro Devyatkin’s guidance, with the mission of helping young musicians develop a passion for and love of music, to understand that hard work is critical to success, and how to contribute to their community by sharing their time and talent. We have had our youth orchestra long enough to reach “critical mass,” according to Devyatkin, and now have several BSO musicians who have come up through the system. 

“We are succeeding with our mission to contribute to our community as well as enhancing the lives of our young and adult musicians,” he observed. 

“Mr. Devyatkin is a phenomenal teacher with loads of great practical information and musical anecdotes that paint a vivid image of a musical career,” said Engle, who plans to pursue a career in music performance. 

“Mr. Devyatkin has helped me grow in so many ways,” said Stromer. “I will always be grateful for all that he and Ms. Ami have done for me.” 

Concerto in A for Two Violins by Antonio Vivaldi 

Vivaldi’s “Concerto in A for Two Violins” will feature the two young violinists in the concert’s opening presentation. Vivaldi was the orchestra director at a girls boarding school and composed many of his concerti for his student musicians to perform. 

“As you will see with this Concerto, the technical and musical prowess of our two violinists will be very impressive,” Devyatkin said. 

Following their performance the orchestra will play a variety of classical seasonal music and, after intermission, a medley of Holiday Pops will liven up the afternoon, including Polar Express, A Canadian Brass Christmas, Hava Nagila, Christmas Eve/ Sarajevo, Winter Wonderland and Sleigh Ride. 

Individual tickets are $40 for adults and $15 for students. For tickets, go to the BSO website at www.beaufortorchestra.org or call 800- 595-4TIX (4849). 


What: Beaufort Symphony Orchestra’s “Homegrown Holiday” Concert 

When: 4 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 12 

Where: Sea Island Presbyterian Church, 81 Lady’s Island Drive 

Tickets: Individual tickets are $40 for adults, $15 for students at www.beaufortorchestra.org or call 800-595-4TIX (4849). 

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