Ron Sadlier's dream of conducting a full symphony orchestra in the Rim Country is on its way to coming true.
Next week, the public is invited to share the dream as the Payson Community Orchestra holds its first concert from 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 12, at Payson United Methodist Church. Admission is free.
"We will present a variety of music from Bach to Broadway to bluegrass," Sadlier said. "Jay Scott will host, adding interest with his commentary of the selections."
The Minuetto in G minor from Schubert's Fifth Symphony and Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" are two of the classical pieces on the evening's program.
The audience will also hear "Fiddler's Fantasy," an arrangement by Sadlier of two well-known fiddle tunes.
"I hope that the song ‘Memory,' from Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical ‘Cats,' leaves everyone with happy memories of the concert," Sadlier said.
Jay Scott will act as master of ceremonies for the orchestra's first performance.
"Music is not just spots on a page," Sadlier said, "So, the willingness of the musicians to interpret and artfully express the music is impressive to me."
Sadlier and eight enthusiastic musicians set their bows to their instruments at the orchestra's first practice in July 2005 as the Rim Community Orchestra.
Since then, it has grown slowly but steadily to its present 17 members -- nine violinists, one violist, one cellist, four musicians playing wind instruments, plus a keyboardist and percussionist.
The ages of musicians spans nearly 70 years.
"I couldn't ask for a better group of loyal musicians to play with," Sadlier said.
The motto Sadlier adopted as he recruits members into his "budding" orchestra is "building quality, one artist at a time."
Payson Parks and Recreation is adopting the orchestra as one of their programs, which is why the name was changed to the Payson Community Orchestra.
For the present, Sadlier is volunteering his time to coordinate and conduct the orchestra.
"At this point, there is no registration fee," said Rick Manchester, Payson parks and recreation director.
People who are interested in joining the orchestra may call Sadlier at (928) 468-1757.