Tehachapi music patrons enjoyed an evening of classical music as performed by students from the Tehachapi Junior Orchestra and the more advanced students who comprise the Tehachapi Strings Orchestra. Both orchestras are under the musical directorship of local music promoter and teacher Gayel Pitchford.

Friday evening started out with Junior Orchestra members performing “Green Sleeves Variant” by composer Elliot del Borgo. For their second presentation the orchestra performed the “Don Juan Suite” by composer Christoph Gluck. The orchestra for this performance was made up of violins, viola, cello, a bass and two flutes.

After rearranging the playing area, members of the Tehachapi Strings Orchestra took their seats. Their first selection featured the music of Wolfgang Mozart. His “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” Second was the first movement of Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 5.” The orchestra closed its performance with Mozart’s “Overture to the Marriage of Figaro.” The eight members of the orchestra were playing violins, viola, bass and cello.

The evening's musical presentation ended with several solo performances by the young musicians. Here they individually displayed their levels of playing proficiency and someday may become members of the Tehachapi Symphony Orchestra.

Concertmaster and local music instructor Pitchford nurtures the young talent. As a private music teacher, she is also deeply involved with the successful Tehachapi Symphony Orchestra, The Junior Strings Orchestra, the annual Fiddling Down the Tracks competition and many student workshops.

Pitchford holds a masters degree from the University of Redlands. After moving to Tehachapi a decade ago, she was instrumental in founding the Tehachapi Symphony Orchestra. She continues to study violin with Mischa Lefkowitz of the LA Philharmonic Orchestra. Pitchford has been honored by the Arts Council of Kern and is a recipient of the prestigious “Award for Excellence in Community Engagement."