The LCW rehearsing

Lowcountry Wind Symphony’s upcoming concert is the second of the 2021-2022 season.  Entitled ‘Symphonic Portraits’ it will be held on Sunday, February 27th at 4 pm at Sea Island Presbyterian Church, 81 Lady’s Island Drive in Beaufort. The concert is free, but donations are gratefully received.

According to Music Director Donald F. Jemella, ‘Symphonic Portraits’ continues a longstanding tradition of Lowcountry Wind Symphony – bringing audiences the best in concert band repertoire from the giants of music composition. The program will offer music by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Gliere and Sousa, as well as the more recent works of Stephen Melillo and Frigyes Hidas.

The featured soloist will be Janet Carpenter, presenting Frigyes Hidas’ Oboe Concerto No. 2. Ms. Carpenter grew up in Northeast Ohio where she received Bachelors and Masters Degrees from Bowling Green University. She is a busy musician in the Lowcountry, serving as a member of both LWS and the Beaufort Symphony, and freelances with instrumental ensembles throughout the area. As an educator, she has taught oboe classes at Davidson and Mars Hill Colleges and maintains a private home studio.

Frigyes Hidas, was born in Budapest in 1928, and studied at the Liszt Academy of Music. He was a highly prolific composer whose diverse musical genre included operas, ballets, concerti, chamber music, vocal and choral selections. Although relatively unknown in the United States, he was one of the foremost names in the world of contemporary chamber and concert band music for wind instruments. His Oboe Concerto No 2. was written for oboe and small wind ensemble.

Beethoven’s musical compositions span the transition between the Classical and Romantic

Music Director Donald F. Jemella

periods of music. The Egmont Overture,  written in his middle period, is similar in style to his Fifth Symphony. The overture and other incidental music were composed as companion pieces to a play by Johan Goethe in 1810, during the Napoleonic Wars. Beethoven was greatly opposed to Napoleon’s desire to crown himself Emperor of large areas of Europe. The Egmont Overture, powerful and expressive, became an unofficial anthem of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.

The theme melody of Tchaikovsky’s orchestral tone poem, Marche Slav, will be extremely familiar to concert goers. It was commissioned by the Russian Musical Society for a concert to benefit wounded Serbian soldiers during the Serbo-Turkish War, 1876-78. It contains two Serbian folk songs, the Russian National Anthem, and in the virtuoso coda, snippets of his 1812 Overture.

John Philip Sousa was known as The March King. He conducted the Marine Band in Washington D.C. for twelve years under five presidents.  During world War I, anti- German sentiment ran high in America. Sousa was asked by the American Relief Society to write a processional to be used at weddings that would replace the familiar melodies by Wagner and Mendelssohn. The result was Processional, subtitled ‘The Wedding March’.  Though rarely performed at weddings or other occasions today, this stately and melodic work displays the broad range of Sousa’s compositional abilities.

Russian composer, Reinhold Gliere, is best known for his energetic Russian Sailors Dance from the opera The Red Poppy. Written in 1927, the story explores the themes of good and evil.

The LWS rehearsing

Contemporary composer Stephen Melillo and LWS Music Director Donald F. Jemella have been friends and musical colleagues for more than forty years. Melillo chooses the subjects for his compositions with great care. To Love and Be Loved honors his mother and is part of a group of pieces he calls Musical Haiku.  When asked what she hoped for in life, his mother replied – “To Love and be Loved.” The secondary title is ‘For Susan, the Lost Sister.’ Melillo communicates his deeply emotional thoughts in the expression, “Music speaks what no words can say.”

The Lowcountry Wind Symphony is a concert band, made up of local amateur and professional brass, wind and percussion players from the greater Beaufort area. We also welcome talented high school age musicians. Among the current group of high school musicians, two young women have become part of the clarinet section, joining their mother, who is a founding member of LWS and serves as librarian.

The Lowcountry Wind Symphony’s repertoire is drawn from transcriptions of enduring classical works, as well as those written expressly for concert band.

New band members are welcome to join us. No auditions are required. If you would like more information about this, or wish to become involved in band operations support, please contact

To make a donation to LWS’ 2021-2022 season or to support our youth scholarship fund, tax deductible contributions can be sent to

  1. O. Box 1526, Bluffton, SC, 29910


We invite you to join us for an afternoon of music as together we continue ‘Exploring What’s Muiscally Possible!’