Avanti - The Orchestra of the Friday Morning Music Club

Pablo Saelzer, Conductor and Music Director



2014–2015 Concerts

All concerts are free and open to the public. Also see our Calendar of Events for more details on these and other FMMC concerts.

  • Friday, September 19, 2014, 8:00 pm, Church of the Epiphany, Washington, DC. Program: Dvořák Three Legends Op. 59; Mozart Bassoon Concerto, Jeff Ward, bassoon; Dvořák Slavonic Dance, Op. 72, No. 2 (10); Kodály Dances of Galánta.
  • Wednesday, November 5, 2014, 7:30 pm, Kennedy Center Terrace Theater, Washington, DC. Program: Schubert Overture in D, "In the Italian Style;" Beethoven Piano Concerto, Washington International Piano Competition winner Somang Jeagal, piano; Beethoven Symphony No. 1. Please note: Tickets given out first come first serve beginning at 6:30 pm in the Terrace Theater lobby.
  • Saturday, March 14, 2015, 7:30 pm, Church of the Epiphany, Washington, DC. Program: Brahms Serenade No. 1; Brahms Violin Concerto, Jonathan Carney, violin, Concertmaster of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
  • Saturday, June 27, 2015, 7:30 pm, Cultural Arts Center, Silver Spring, MD. Program: Shostakovich Symphony No. 5.



Tuesday, January 13, 2015, beginning at 7:30 pm.
LOCATION: Church of the Epiphany, 1317 G Street NW, Washington, DC. Metro: 1/2 block walk from Metro Center (Red, Orange, Blue Lines) or 10-15' walk from Gallery Place (Green, Yellow, and Red Lines; use G and 9th Street exit).
CONTACT: Nan Cooper, orchestra@fmmc.org to schedule a time. Please include a brief bio of music experience.


Orchestra Background

Founded in 1943 as a string ensemble, the orchestra grew to full symphonic instrumentation in the 1970’s. Pablo Saelzer has been Conductor and Music Director since 2005. The orchestra presents four to five concerts annually, one of which is held at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and features a soloist from the Washington International Competition.

Although it maintains an amateur status, the orchestra has earned an outstanding reputation for its excellent performances and has garnered many favorable reviews. All orchestra concerts are open to the public free of charge, with no tickets needed except at the Kennedy Center concerts, where they are available at the door on a first-come, first-served basis.

The orchestra is made up of approximately 70 highly qualified players, professional and amateur, all of whom volunteer their services. Most are Performing Members of the FMMC; however, players from outside the membership can participate at no cost to the Club when necessary to complete the instrumentation for a particular performance.

For more information, contact Orchestra Manager Nan Cooper at orchestra@fmmc.org.


Orchestra Mission

The mission of the orchestra is to create individual and collective opportunities to participate in music-making, wherein performers bring the care and attention to details that enable the orchestra to be the best it can be and thereby impact the community with excellent performances. In pursuing its mission, the orchestra will make every effort to:

  • Develop and implement best practices including those defined in its procedures below and other practices for carrying out its operations efficiently and effectively
  • Attract highly accomplished players of all ages and backgrounds
  • Develop orchestra sound
  • Maintain and promote high standards of performance and musicianship
  • Create meaningful and appealing programs
  • Offer excellent performances
  • Develop audiences of all ages and backgrounds


Requirements for Orchestra Performance

String players interested in becoming Orchestra Performing members of the Club should e-mail the Orchestra Manager at orchestra@fmmc.org to arrange an audition, which generally requires the candidate to prepare a selection of his or her choice and two orchestral excerpts (sent in advance) and play them before a three-member orchestra audition committee. All other instrumentalists should schedule auditions through the FMMC Auditions chair, auditions@fmmc.org. For more information, see our Auditions page. Generally, principal wind players are expected to perform at the skill level appropriate for a chamber or solo performer on their instrument. Performers who have achieved FMMC Solo or Chamber Performance membership through audition may play in the orchestra at the invitation of the orchestra committee.


Orchestra Personnel

  • Pablo Saelzer, Conductor
  • Nan Cooper, Manager
  • Pete Ostle, Operations Manager
  • Joanna Taylor, Operations Manager
  • Craig Teer, Stage Manager


Orchestra Fund

In addition to the support it receives from the Club’s General Fund, the orchestra draws from a fund dedicated to its use. For information on contributing to the Orchestra Fund, please go to our Donations page.