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Chamber concert to be held Saturday

Posted: February 1, 2012 - 1:05am  |  Updated: February 1, 2012 - 10:18am

Twitter @JennaNMartin

Two principal musicians for the Symphony Orchestra Augusta are coming together Saturday for a concert.

Harpist Vonda Darr and flautist Wendy Cohen will perform the second concert of the Augusta symphony’s Columbia County Music Series at the Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center in Evans.

The concert, which will include works by Mozart, Schubert and Debussy, starts at 7:30 p.m.

“This concert is the only concert (of the series) where our principal musicians are being featured,” said the symphony’s Education and Community Engagement Director Amy Montgomery. “We’re very proud of them.”

Darr has been performing with the symphony for nearly 20 years, while Cohen is in her 13th year. They both also play with the Greenville Symphony Orchestra in South Carolina and the South Carolina Philharmonic.

Darr said she and Cohen tried to come up with a diverse program, with some upbeat pieces and others that are more classical. During a tango selection, Darr said she’ll get a chance to play the harp like a drum.

“We love the program,” said Darr, who moved four years ago from Augusta to Wilson, N.C. “We enjoy playing it and that hopefully will transfer over to the audience as well.”

Darr’s love for music started at an early age. When she was 4 years old, she started playing the piano. And by the time she was 6, Darr picked up a harp and hasn’t let go since.

“I feel like I’m privileged to play it, so I want to share it with audiences,” she said.

Darr called the 80-pound instrument “fascinating,” and doesn’t mind too much when having to carry it around with her to concert venues.

“I wouldn’t lug it around if I didn’t love it,” she said.

Since moving to North Carolina, Darr also started performing, when needed, with the North Carolina Symphony in Raleigh.

As part of the symphony’s residency program, Darr and Cohen will put on an educational demonstration for pupils at Grovetown Elementary School and a small concert at Brandon Wilde prior to Saturday, Montgomery said.

Tickets for the Evans performance cost $15 and are available for students and military personnel at $7. To purchase tickets, call (706) 826-4705 or visit www.soaugusta.com.

IF YOU GO

What: Symphony Orchestra Augusta concert featuring harpist Vonda Darr and flautist Wendy Cohen

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center in Evans

Cost: $15 general admission, $7 for students and military personnel

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