A hometown concert on Monday, May 7, will help launch the Hope College Symphonette's forthcoming European tour.

A hometown concert on Monday, May 7, will help launch the Hope College Symphonette's forthcoming European tour.

The Symphonette will present a "farewell concert" on Monday, May 7, at 7:30 p.m. at Third Reformed Church in Holland.

The public is invited. The performance is free, but a freewill offering to support the tour will be taken.

The program will include the "Overture to 'Zamp'" by Ferdinand Herold, "Quiet City" by Aaron Copland, the "Masquerade Suite" by Aram Khachaturian, and "Serenade for Strings" by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

The European tour runs Friday-Wednesday, May 11-16, and includes performances in Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic.

The tour will start with three concerts in Munich, Germany on May 11-13. All three concerts will be in collaboration with the Evangelisch Kantori Herrshing, a German choir. In addition, a piano soloist and vocal soloists will join the group in two performances of Ludwig van Beethoven's "Choral Fantasy for Piano Solo, Choir, and Orchestra." Hope College professor Linda Dykstra, soprano, will also be performing with the Symphonette during the ensemble's European tour.

The May 11 and 13 Munich performances are at St. Matthäus church, considered one of the most important Lutheran churches in Germany, and are part of the Kirchen Music Series. The May 12 performance is part of the International Choir and Orchestra Series.

The Symphonette will then travel to Austria and the Czech Republic for two additional performances, performing in Salzburg, Austria on Monday, May 14, and in Prague in the Czech Republic on Wednesday, May 16.

The Hope College Symphonette is selected each year from the larger 75-member college symphony orchestra. Through the Symphonette, the college's department of music is able to offer concerts to church and school communities some distance from its campus and, at the same time, afford its more proficient players an unusual opportunity for group participation and concentrated study of musical styles.

The Symphonette has made numerous radio and television appearances and has presented children's and youth concerts in addition to its series of formal concerts. The Symphonette has performed for the biennial meetings of the Music Educators' National Conference (MENC) and appears regularly in cities in Western Michigan. The Symphonette has appeared on the nationally televised "Hour of Power" from Garden Grove Church in California.

The annual tour has taken the Symphonette from coast to coast in the U.S. as well as two Provinces in Canada, the British Isles, six countries in Europe, and to Australia and New Zealand.

The Symphonette is led by Professor Richard Piippo. Born in Wisconsin, Piippo has Baccalaureate and Master's degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Since 1996, Piippo has spent his summers on the faculty of Seminar at Western Michigan University as conductor, solo performer, teacher, and coach. In the fall of 1999, Piippo joined the faculty of Hope College as professor of cello/chamber music and conductor of orchestras.