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Toe River Chamber Ensemble

Toe River Chamber Ensemble is a community orchestra sponsored by the Toe River Arts Council. It is based in Yancey and Mitchell Counties of North Carolina.

The Toe River Chamber Ensemble (TRCE) is a community orchestra created in 1976 largely through the efforts of Susannah Jones, local cellist and then director of Music in the Mountains. Over the years many musicians of all capabilities and walks of life have played in the group. The Ensemble has been blessed with hardworking visionary conductors and the steadfast support of Toe River Arts. The members currently come from Yancey, Mitchell, Madison, and Buncombe Counties. Weekly rehearsals are held at the First Baptist Church of Burnsville under the capable leadership of Maestro Lisa Mauney.

Video by Martha J Moore

Notes from the Maestro

May 2022

The Toe River Chamber Ensemble resumed full rehearsals in March of 2022. It is exciting to hear our strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion all making music together again. This all-volunteer, amateur group continues to amaze me with their determination and talent.

We are very excited to announce several Spring and Summer performances including our first full ensemble public performance since December 2019.

  • Wednesday, June 8th @ 6:30, Brass Ensemble at Homeplace Beer Company, free
  • Friday, June 10th @ 5, Brass Ensemble at the Spruce Pine Mainstreet Pocket Park, free
  • Tuesday, June 21st @ 7:30, TRCE full ensemble at First Baptist Church Burnsville. Beethoven’s Egmont Overture, along with a medley of John Williams movie themes.
    Suggested sliding scale donation: $5-25+
  • Wednesday, June 22nd @ 6:30, TRCE full ensemble at Homeplace Beer Company, free

After the concerts, the ensemble will take a summer break and resume rehearsals in late September. We would like to expand our string section, especially in the violin section. If you are fully vaccinated for Covid 19 and play a string instrument, we invite you to check us out and fill out an interest form here.

If you would like to help support this group, donations may be made to Toe River Arts, specifying the donation to be allocated to the Toe River Chamber Ensemble.

Contact Toe River Arts if you have any questions.

Lisa Mauney

Toe River Chamber Ensemble June Concert Program

Toe River Brass Consortium – June Concert Program

  • America The Beautiful
  • Selection of Early American Songs
  • The Chevy Chase, a jazz piece from 1914 by Eubie Blake
  • Appalachian Hymnsong, an original composition by our first trumpeter, Kevin Paul
  • May The Road from Three Celtic Blessings
  • Pirates of the Caribbean

Toe River Chamber Ensemble – Welcome Back Concert

June 21, 2022

A Note from the Maestro:

It is with much joy and thankfulness, that I welcome you back to our first indoor concert in over two and a half very long years. I personally hope the music you hear this evening will make you smile, tap your foot, close your eyes, and bring healing and hope. Thank you for your support of these wonderful people who share their talents through their instruments. May music continue to bring unity to a chaotic world.

Lisa Mauney


  • Variations on a Korean Folk Song……….….John Barnes Chance, Arr. by Robert Longfield
  • Gabriel’s Oboe(from The Mission)…………..Ennio Morricone, Arr. by Robert Longfield, Michael Jones, oboe
  • Dance Of The Hours from La Gioconda……Amilcare Ponchielli, Ed. by Steven Rosenhaus
  • Two Elegiac Melodies……………….…………Edvard Grieg (1843-1907), Op.34
    • Heart’s Wound
    • Last Spring
  • A Tribute to John Williams…….………………John Williams
    • Theme from Jaws, Adapted by Paul Lavender
    • Raiders March
    • Adventures on Earth(finale from E.T.)
    • Star Wars (Main Title), Arr. by Robert W. Smith
  • I Dreamed A Dream: Les Miserables…………music by Claude-Michel Schonberg, lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer, Arr. by Bob Lowden, Elizabeth Houtler, Alto
  • Egmont Overture………………………………….Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1826), p.84

Toe River Chamber Ensemble Concert at Homeplace

June 22, 2022


  • Electric Shock March
  • Egmont Overture
  • Gabriel’s Oboe
  • A Tribute To John Williams
  • Dance of the Hours
  • Les Miserables, I Dreamed A Dream
  • Give My Regards to Broadway
  • I’m A Yankee Doodle Dandy
  • America! Patriotic Themes

Program Notes

  • Variations on a Korean Folk Song This piece consists of variations of the Korean Folk Song, “Arirang”, which the composer heard in the late 1950s while visiting South Korea. “Arirang” is estimated to be more than 600 years old and twice has been included on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list. The song is sung today in both North and South Korea representing a symbol of unity in a region divided by the Korean War.
  • Gabriel’s Oboe from the 1986 film, The Mission. This theme has been called “unforgettable” and a “celebrated oboe melody”.
  • Dance of the Hours from La Gioconda is a short ballet from the Act 3 finale. It depicts the hours of the day: “The hours of daybreak”, “Dance of the hours of the day”, and “The hours of the night”. After its inclusion in Disney’s 1940 animated film, Fantasia, it became more widely known.
  • A Tribute to John Williams celebrates the composer’s 90th birthday this year.
  • Two Elegiac Melodies: string movements of Grieg’s 12 Melodies, Op.33 that are settings for voice and piano of words by the Norwegian poet Aasmund Vinje. Vinje’s words from “The Heart’s Wound”, relate that wounds have been suffered by the heart in the struggles of life, but it has survived; faith is not destroyed. In “The Last Spring” the poet describes the beauty of the countryside in spring, thinking it may be his last.
  • I Dreamed a Dream from the 1980 musical, Les Miserables. The song is a lament, sung by the anguished Fantine as she thinks back to happier days and wonders at all that has gone wrong in her life.
  • Egmont Overture is powerful and expressive, one of the last works of Beethoven’s middle period. It is in a style similar to the Fifth Symphony, which he had completed two years earlier.

Toe River Chamber Ensemble

Lisa Mauney, Conductor

1st Violin
Brenda Phetteplace
Ingrid Ringler

2nd Violin
Dee Bobbe
Brynn Heyes
Russ Lee

Amy Trobaugh
Alexis LaValliere

Janet Stein
Gabriel Cade
Jack Page

Julie Spitzer

Michael Jones

Teri Barwick
Christine English

Elizabeth Boulter

Kevin Paul
Phil Tate

Jennifer Smith

Mike Murphy
David Thayer

Thomas Blalock

Many, many thanks to First Baptist Church, Burnsville for sharing their beautiful space for our rehearsals and concerts. And for storing our percussion instruments and our music.

NC Arts Council

The Toe River Chamber Ensemble is made possible in part by a Grassroots Arts Grant from the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Cultural and Natural Resources Department, a state agency and by those individuals and organizations who believe in the benefits of music. Want to help the Arts Council keep the music flowing, sponsor more concerts? Donate to the Chamber Ensemble today.