Tar River Philharmonic Orchestra


  • 60 to 80 professional musicians

  • Full orchestral instrumentation; strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion

  • Orchestration varies to fit music requirements

  • Musicians from across North Carolina; educators, conductors, performers, professors, and private teachers

  • Performs a repertoire of music from the quintessential classical composers – Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Bach, Tchaikovsky, Wagner, Vivaldi

  • Also performs light classics from popular Broadway musicals, movies and more

  • Features selected soloists from Carolina colleges and universities

Conductor: Dr. Alfred Sturgis


Tar River Swing Band

  • 18-piece big band

  • Four big band style vocalists

  • Working band for hire

  • Performances include classics from swing and big band eras – Ellington, Basie, Dorsey, Goodman

  • Also performs Carolina Beach music to the delight of Shag dancers everywhere

  • Concert charts push the jazz envelope with selections made popular by Stan Kenton, Maynard Ferguson, Sammy Nestico, Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, and others

Conductor: Mr. Dennis Hart


Tar River Chorus

Veterans day chorus

  • 30 to 70 classically trained voices

  • Volunteer singers selected by audition

  • The best voices in Eastern North Carolina

  • Typically there is a waiting list for new members representing the musicianship necessary for selection

  • Classic choral works combined with crowd favorites makes for challenging and memorable performances.

  • Performances include featured performance at Carnegie Hall

  • Group features selected soloists which showcases the musicianship within the group

Conductor: Michael J. Glasgow


Tar River Children’s Chorus

The Tar River Children’s Chorus, an award-winning youth choir, has 80 singers selected by audition. The TRCC scored the highest in Music in the Parks at Busch Gardens and King’s Dominion in 2015 & 2016. The Children’s Chorus is in its 25th year.

  • Made up of three separate groups

    • Concert Chorus (7th through 12th grades)

    • Cantare (3rd through 6th grades)

    • Ensemble (grades 9-12).

  • They perform in total as the Tar River Children’s Chorus and separately as their individual groups

  • Collectively they make up three different award winning groups

  • The Ambassadors of Rocky Mount

-Most recently received SUPEROR (Gold) ratings at the 2013 Heritage Festival held at New York City’s famed Riverside Church.

-Also received the coveted Spirit Award representing “The Choir that Best Represented its Community”

  • Annual Christmas program is a seasonal highlight for the community

Conductor: Patsy Johnson Gilliland


Tar River Youth Strings


  • For children pre-school through high school

  • Opportunity for group performances and private lessons

  • First exposure to music and achieving the vision of making music

  • Utilizes the Suzuki method as part of teaching process

  • Performs each holiday season as part of Christmas program with Children’s Chorus

Conductor: Mr. Chris Ellis 


Tar River Strings 2 2015