Bay Chamber Concerts turns 50 this summer and the Odeon strings program will have its 10th anniversary spring concerts this month. These free concerts highlight the talent of the area’s extraordinary local musicians and the dedicated teachers of Bay Chamber’s Community Music School.

On Sunday, May 16 at 2:30 p.m. in the Rockport Opera House, 6 Central St., the Odeon Chamber Orchestra will perform a program of Felix Mendelssohn’s Sinfonie No. 1 in C major; Giacomo Puccini’s “Crisantemi”; Antonio Vivaldi’s Concerto for Four Violins in B minor Op. 3, No. 10; and Harald Genzmer’s Sonatina Prima for Strings. The Kraeftig quartet will perform the first movement of Mozart’s Klavier Quartette K. 493 in E flat major. The concert is sponsored by Eleanor Poe Barlow in memory of Eleanor Livingston Poe Barlow.

The Odeon Chamber Orchestra serves string players at the high-intermediate to advanced level.  It is selective, technically and artistically challenging and requires prior ensemble experience. Its rehearsals focus on developing musicianship and refining ensemble technique as well as broadening knowledge of varied repertoire for chamber orchestra. The co-artistic directors are Gilda Joffe and Michael Reynolds.

The second chance to hear Odeon musicians will be Tuesday, May 25 at 6:30 p.m. at the Rockport Opera House. This concert features the Odeon Junior Ensemble, Odeon Youth Orchestra and Odeon Adult Orchestra, all under the direction of conductor Marshunda Smith. Everyone is invited to come celebrate the culmination of these musicians’ hard work and dedication over the course of the semester.

These musicians are at the beginning and intermediate level of chamber playing and present a program of traditional favorites culminating a combined orchestra performance of Themes from Mozart’s Symphony No. 40.  Concertgoers also will hear a traditional “Old English Air,” Franz Schubert’s “Shepherd’s Dance,” Soon Hee Newbold’s “Mythos,” Jean Philippe Rameau’s Concert No. 6, Simon Jeffes’ “Music for a Found Harmonium,” the Finale to Serenade No. 9 of the “Posthorn Serenade”  by Mozart, excerpts from Handel’s opera “Rodrigo,” and the Capriol Suite by Peter Warlock. A chamber trio will perform Trio No. 3 for violin, B-flat clarinet and piano from “Memories of Corsica,” which is the third movement of “Ardent Souls” by Rick Sowash.

For more information on these free concerts, call the office at 236-2823 or visit baychamberconcerts.org.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to dernest@villagesoup.com.