Standing Ovation

A standing ovation greeted the final piece of the Lake Chapala Orchestra Chamber Ensemble. A well-deserved ending of applause to a wonderful performance.

The concert included pieces by Vivaldi (1678-1741), Franz Strauss (1822-1905), Brahms (1833-1897), and Dvořák (1841-1904), with a rousing Scott Joplin piece to end the afternoon of Summer Serenade, on August 25th and 26th, all performed at the Lakeside Presbyterian Church, in Riberas.

Michael Reason conducted the splendid chamber musicians. Mr. Reason is originally from England, where he studied conducting with Maurice Miles at the Royal Academy of Music, piano with Georgina Zellan Smith, and earned a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Kingston University. Michael has had a highly successful career as an enterprising and entrepreneurial conductor.

During the past three decades Michael has been music director of several orchestras in Canada, including the Niagara Symphony and the Hamilton Philharmonic. Michael was a frequent guest conductor with orchestras in Canada and abroad, including the North Czech Philharmonic and the Taipei Symphony. Numerous Mexican ensembles, the State of Mexico Symphony, the Bellas Artes Orchestra, and the Guanajuato Symphony have all benefited from his knowledgeable and inspired conducting.

His sold-out audience on Friday, August 25th found his introduction to each piece informative, interesting, and sometimes filled with humor.

The original group of 14 musicians first rehearsed October 14, 2018. Many of the musicians come from the Lakeside area and some from Guadalajara. The orchestra was formed to provide local musicians the opportunity to rehearse and perform music from the orchestral repertoire in an environment that fosters cooperation and inclusivity, providing the Lakeside area with live symphonic music. Recently, the orchestra started to integrate professional musicians into the ensemble with the intent of moving the orchestra forward in its technical and musical ability. As part of the commitment to the community, the orchestra has entered into a partnership with the Centro Regional Estudiantes Musicales (CREM). Several students from this renowned music program are now members of the LCO. The relationship with CREM will be expanded in the months ahead.

At the end of this wonderful concert, I had the opportunity to speak briefly with a young cellist, Areli Medeles, who is from Lakeside. When I asked her where she had gained her early training, she smiled the biggest smile and said, with great pride, “CREM.” Now she is a professional musician; her performance in the Brahms Clarinet Trio Op.114 was exemplary of her musicality, passion, and professionalism.

I had the pleasure of listening to the chamber ensemble courtesy of a friend, Suzanne Salimbene, who was so impressed by her first exposure to the 40-piece orchestra that she decided to become a sponsor.

Upcoming concerts are scheduled for Friday, October 21st, at 3:00 PM and Saturday, October 22nd, at 3:00 PM.

The concert is entitled From Paris to London and will include: 

Poulenc: Suite Française

Fauré: Pelléas and Mélisande

Vaughan Williams: English Folk Song Suite

Haydn: Symphony No. 104 “London”

Tickets are: $300 Pesos And the location is Lakeside Presbyterian Church, 250 San Jorge, Riberas

I urge you to listen to this jewel of an orchestra, which has become part of our fortunate community. This is our very own superb symphony orchestra.

Once you have heard them perform, you will, undoubtedly, be impressed, and I am sure be most willing to help sponsor this wonderful endeavor.

If you need further information on the sponsorship program or wish to order tickets, please send an email to

Helen Gallagher
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