I would like to take a moment to reflect on who we are, and where we are going.

When we founded this orchestra in October 2010, we began with a simple idea. We wanted to create a superior chamber orchestra, but we also wanted to create an opportunity. We decided to be a showcase for young professional talent.

Our singers and musicians come from countries across the globe–Turkey, Russia, France, Great Britain. We cull them from our own back yard in the DC area and the East Coast. Most are graduates of conservatories or major music schools or have proven themselves in other well-recognized music venues and organizations. But many haven’t yet had the opportunity to join a major orchestra or opera company.

In return they lend us their youth–excitement at the chance to perform major orchestral masterpieces that made them want to become musicians in the first place. They give us skill. They give us accomplished, emotionally expressive performances of demanding pieces.

The Apollo Orchestra also embraces established players. They provide balance while mentoring the younger musicians. These esteemed older brothers and sisters, who have played these same pieces many times,often find a new energy and zeal when playing next to their younger partners.

In addition to promoting and nurturing the careers of young musicians we are equally focused on providing an involving, live-music experience for our local audience. Our concerts are intimate and personal, and take place in an informal venue that is easy to access and has ample free parking.

Finally, we strongly believe in the power, beauty and expression of the human voice. Thus, our programs often feature young professional singers as soloists, performing opera or orchestral music with voice.

And we would be remiss if we didn’t recognize our young music director Stephen Czarkowski. He embodies all of those traits we seek to project. With command and finesse he quickly took a inexperienced orchestra to a level of proficiency not often seen in a suburban church.

The Apollo Orchestra has grown in size and capability. It now can play the largest repertoire, regardless of its challenges. Before long we also hope to commission or perform new works by young, local composers.

Thanks to the financial support from the Downing Family Foundation, which funds all of our costs, we will maintain our free admission policy, hoping to draw the widest possible audience. And, of course, we must offer special thanks to St. Jane Frances de Chantal Church and its music director Henry Bauer for their gracious hosting of our concerts.

Robert B. Downing
Chairman and CEO
Apollo Orchestra