OGDEN - Nearly 300 people wearing red for American Heart Month gathered in the Union Station's Browning Auditorium on Saturday night for the second of Chamber Orchestra Ogden's three yearly performances.
The concert was sponsored by Ogden Regional Medical Center and attendees were asked to wear red to show their support and to raise awareness for heart disease.
Michael Palumbo, Chamber Orchestra Ogden's conductor, said he was approached a few months ago by Craig Bielik, the hospital's communications director, about a hospital-sponsored concert for American Heart Month.
Palumbo started Chamber Orchestra Ogden in 2011 to give the alumni of the WSU orchestra program a place to play.
Palumbo said he is actively pursuing grant money and looking for sponsors in order to pay his musicians. When Bielik approached him about the sponsorship, Palumbo was happy to accept.
"We need $21,600 to cover this year's concerts; to pay performers," Palumbo said. The orchestra also hopes to purchase a kettledrum this season. "We're looking for people to sponsor concerts for each of the three concerts we have each year."
At five dollars for an hour's worth of entertainment, many attendees consider the orchestra's performances to be an inexpensive and refreshingly unique night out.
"I thought it was wonderful," said Pam Kippen, an audience-member from West Haven who said she regularly attends the orchestra's performances. "It's different from all the other garbage that's out there. It's uplifting; and I just like classical music."
According to Palumbo, you don't have to be a classical music aficionado to enjoy his orchestra's performances.
"The concerts are designed specifically to appeal to a lot of people with different repertoires," said Palumbo. "They're short, inexpensive, and they always have enough variety that the concerts are fun."
Kristy Chambers, chest pain and stroke coordinator at Ogden Regional, took the stage during a break between the performances to remind audience members to take care of their tickers.
"Go red for women, go red for everyone," said Chambers, adding that heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women. Chambers also offered advice on how to keep your heart healthy and how to recognize signs of a heart attack. "Please join me in the fight against heart disease."
Tracy Ehrig, business manager for the Union Station, felt her venue was a uniquely appropriate place for a discussion of heart-related issues.
"We feel like the station is the heart of Ogden, so it's the perfect venue for a heart event in the heart of Ogden," said Ehrig,
Chamber Orchestra Ogden's next concert is at 7:30 p.m. on April 26 at the Union Station; tickets will be available at the door.
Those who would like to sponsor one of the orchestra's concerts should contact Michael Palumbo at (801) 624-9232 or firstname.lastname@example.org.