Coppell Community Orchestra performs winter classics at holiday concert

Brown uses music to establish roots in new community


Rishitha Penmetsa

The Coppell Orchestra performed at the Cozby Public Library on Saturday. President Tina Brown and another member of the group play “In the Bleak Midwinter” by Holst.

Laasya Achanta, Staff Writer

Coppell Community Orchestra President Tina Brown finds excitement in playing together as a community. On Saturday, CCO performed its holiday concert featuring many popular Christmas songs.


Brown grew up as a vocalist before she transitioned to a cellist early on in her life. She took up orchestra in middle school and then high school with plans on studying it in college. However, during her senior year of high school, Brown was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis – a genetic condition which makes the joints in the body attack themselves.


“I was playing once in college and I have [arthritis] really bad on my right hand which is where I hold the bow. It was a rehearsal thankfully, but my hand hurt so bad that my bow went straight into the audience,” Brown said.


That’s when Brown realized that it would be very difficult for her to continue to play the cello, so she ended up studying composition and theory in college.


“It was a really big moment for me because I realized that if I want to play, I have to do it for fun,” Brown said. “If I’m going to be in pain playing – not a lot – I want to make sure that I enjoy myself while doing it.”


After moving to Coppell a little after a year ago due to her job as a Director of Missions and Connections at Gracepoint Church, Brown wanted a place to play cello with. Unfortunately, there was no place like that at Coppell.


“I had no friends, I had no life when I first came here so I was really looking for a place to build friendships,” Brown said.


As a result, Brown started playing with the Flower Mound symphony where she met conductor Cecilia Hamilton. Encouraged to meet new friends, Brown dedicated a lot of time towards rehearsals but as her schedule got more busy, Brown had to leave the Flower Mound symphony.


When Brown heard about the opportunity to start an orchestra at Coppell, she was thrilled. She became the second one on board, alongside Hamilton –  who is the director, and watched the orchestra grow to a little more than 30 members currently.


“There are two main things in life which I feel bring people together. One of them is food and the other is music – it’s almost like a siren call of joy to a community,” Brown said. “Regardless if one is playing or one is listening, in that moment, you’re just connected and I love that people in Coppell, especially kids, have this opportunity.”


Brown tries to focus the orchestra on bringing people together rather than trying to make a profit to help introduce people who do not typically listen to orchestral music and also give those who can’t afford to attend professional symphonies a chance to listen to beautiful music. The concerts are always free and donations are collected to support the purchasing of music and to pay the conductor.


“We want to make sure that there is as little of an obstacle as possible to prevent people from coming to our concerts,” Brown said.


The next CCO concert is March 2 at 3 p.m.