Ten years of orchestral music celebrated



The Winchendon Winds orchestra, which started in 2015, will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a series of Sunday concerts this month.

The Winchendon Winds orchestra, which started in 2015, will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a series of Sunday concerts this month. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO


For the Athol Daily News

Published: 06-07-2024 5:00 PM

Modified: 06-12-2024 4:03 PM

WINCHENDON – Winchendon Winds, an orchestra consisting almost entirely of wind instruments, was founded in 2015 by Jon Nicholson, EdD, an accomplished music educator, conductor and music program developer with more than six decades of experience.

A long-time resident of Winchendon, Nicholson formed the orchestra with the belief that, according to the group’s website, “Winchendon would enjoy and be enriched by…a concert series” similar to that presented each summer by the Townsend Military Band, of which he was conductor.

Nicholson died in October 2015 after the orchestra’s first series of Sunday afternoon concerts, but his dream of bringing an annual music series to Winchendon and surrounding communities has been carried on by his daughters, Jill Nicholson Sackett and Rev. Inanna Arthen.

To mark the its 10th anniversary, Winchendon Winds will offer a four-concert series beginning this Sunday, June 9, and continuing each Sunday until June 30. All concerts begin at 2 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Winchendon.

This Sunday’s show is “Travels,” offering melodies associated with the countries of Norway, France, Armenia, Spain, Russia and the U.S.

“Forms” will be held the following Sunday, June 16. The performance will feature different styles of music, including an overture, medley, marches and dance. Clarinetist Tim Coffey will play Rossini’s “Introduction, Theme and Variations for Clarinet and Band.”

On June 23, “Crown Jewels” takes center stage with imaginatively assembled tunes that relate to gems and royalty.

The closing concert on June 30 reveals “Hidden Figures,” featuring the Phantom of the Opera as “one of the elusive characters featured,” according to a release from the orchestra.

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Winchendon Winds is led by Conductor Dr. Lindsay Bronnenkant, a member of the UMass/Amherst faculty. She will be making her debut at the podium. Bronnenkant has, said the release, “programmed a varied and demanding concert lineup sure to please audiences and showcase these fine players.”

Concerts are free due to support from the Athol Cultural Council, Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the cultural councils of Ashburnham, Ashby, Gardner, Hubbardston, Lunenburg, Phillipston, Royalston, Templeton and Winchendon. Brooks Automotive Service, By Light Unseen Media, C & S Pizza, Lickity Splitz, Our Neighbor’s Kitchen, The Winchendon Courier and Winchendon Wine & Spirits have also provided donations.

Greg Vine can be reached at gvineadn@aol.com.