The Great Falls-based Amadeus Orchestra will perform without pay at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Reston Community Center, donating its services to the North County Community Shelter for the homeless, which will open soon in Reston.
Music director Timothy Rowe said the orchestra, as a self-governing, co-op organization, generally arrives at decisions through lengthy debate.
But in the case of the benefit, he said, the musicians enthusiastically and quickly consented.
"The players were all eager to do it," said the conductor. "It didn't take more than a few minutes to program it."
Still, it is a challenge to organize a benefit that relies on the participation of free-lance musicians who perform in many professional groups in the Washington area. For example, several of his players were also involved in this week's recording of Mussorgsky's "Boris Gudonov" by Mstislav Rostropovich and the National Symphony Orchestra.
Sunday's concert will include Mozart's concerto for two pianos, performed by the Reston-based husband-and-wife piano duo of William Lutes and Martha Fischer, as well as the Puccini arias made famous in the film "A Room With a View."
Proceeds from the concert will be given to Reston Interfaith Inc., which will provide food, clothing and services to the clients of the shelter. According to Rowe, the Reston shelter will provide an alternative for people who now have to travel to Alexandria or Arlington for shelter.
"This place is going to be new . . . and it's going to have playgrounds for children," he said. "It's meant to be temporary, and I think the better quality a place is, the more likely it is to be temporary because you can get people back on their feet faster when they're not suddenly thrown in a pit."
The Amadeus Orchestra has proven that it is not a temporary organization, having performed for five years in the Great Falls Concert Series. It is a community sponsored orchestra, maintained largely through small donations from individuals, as well as ticket and advertising sales.
In addition to the more than $9,000 that the musicians are giving up in wages, area businesses, including the Linpro Co., are being encouraged to donate to the concert proceeds. But the orchestra may benefit as well.
"I think that this concert is not just a do-good event, though the members do want to help out," Rowe said. "But also it gives people from Reston a chance to hear the orchestra."