Orchestra reaches out to north end talent

The Langely-based Saratoga Chamber Orchestra is interested in expanding their fan-base on Whidbey, and has already drawn in some northern talents.

Last Wednesday, winners from the Jan. 24 “Young artist solo competition,” including those from Oak Harbor and Greenbank, met at music store

Saratoga musicians, 13-year-olds Wyatt Homola and Kalob A. Tatum, are based in Oak Harbor and Rachel Means, 15, is from Greenbank. Viola player Marena Salerno Collins, 12, hails from Langley.

The four winners will perform March 21 at Langley’s Whidbey Island Center for the Arts as part of the orchestra’s regular season concerts. Each will perform as a soloist.

“They’re really the stars of the show,” Larry Heidel, an organizer for Saratoga, said.

Now in its second season, Saratoga Chamber Orchestra performs four major South Whidbey concerts a year in October, January, March and May. However, they hope to one day have an all-island inclusive orchestra.

“We’ve had a great turnout of north end audiences, but the challenge is finding places to play,” Heidel said. “We’re hoping the new performing arts building at Oak Harbor High School will allow us to venture up more.”

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