Homeschool harmony

2 homeschool orchestras to come together for concert

Photos submitted
The Central Pennsylvania Homeschoolers Orchestra rehearses for Saturday’s concert.

OAKLAND MILLS — Two homeschool orchestras will join together on one platform for the first time on Saturday at Lost Creek Mennonite Church, 2682 Long Road.

The Centre County Homeschoolers Orchestra and the Central Pennsylvania Homeschoolers Orchestra are set to perform at 7 p.m.

A total of 39 participants are bringing their classical music skills to the church, which is centrally located between the home bases of each organization.

Muriel Hergenroeder is the administrator for the CPHO, which is based in Carlisle.

Hergenroeder has been promoting the orchestra since its early years. The CPHO will celebrate 20 years of performances this May.

Photo submitted
The Centre County Homeschoolers Orchestra rehearses for Saturday’s concert.

The group of close to 20 homeschool students from Adams, York, Dauphin and Cumberland counties meet to practice regularly from fall through spring. They perform publicly twice within the year.

Saturday’s performance is a special requested opportunity.

“The leader of the Centre County Homeschoolers Association, Susan Krocker found me a year and a half ago,” Hergenroeder said. “She called me and said, ‘Hey, we have about 19 kids in our orchestra,’ and she asked if we could get together and do something.”

Because it takes time to organize such a performance, as well as find a centralized venue, the two administrators decided to take their time setting up, with a goal of a spring 2017 concert.

“We have been practicing separately with our own groups ever since,” Hergenroeder said. “Saturday at 1:30 p.m. we will spend the afternoon practicing together.”

The CPHO leader found the location for the event. She wanted a community between State College and Carlisle.

Hergenroeder said she originally thought of Lewistown, but she later realized the Mifflintown area is actually more central.

“I called around to various churches in the area and got some responses,” she said. “Lost Creek seemed to be the best fit.”

The evening selections will include three performances by CPHO, followed by three pieces by CCHO. There will be an intermission followed by the two groups sharing the stage for four selections.

Audience members can expect to hear selections such as “The Lord of the Rings: Return of the Ring,” “The Downtown Abbey suite,” Symphony No. 5, 4th Mvmt “Reformation” among others.

Hergenroeder said this is an exciting moment in the history of the two orchestras, including the CCHO based group which has been performing since 2004.

The collaboration worked out nicely, she said, because of the need for all parts of the orchestra.

“We have what they don’t have, and they have what we don’t have,” Hergenroeder said.