Gazette Sea Foam: Beaufort orchestra chock-full of talent

August 22, 2011 

  • The Beaufort Symphony Orchestra's four-program season starts Oct. 13. Ticket information is available by phone at 877-548-3237 or at the website, www.beaufort

    orchestra.org.

Thanks to Barbara Temple of Beaufort for sharing a sketch of a member of the Beaufort Symphony Orchestra.

"It's amazing to think of the talent and dedication right in our own neighborhoods," she said.

The four-program season starts Oct. 13. Ticket information is available by phone at 877-548-3237 or at the website, www.beaufortorchestra.org. Barbara, whose husband, Ted, is on the orchestra board, writes:

Meet a Beaufort neighbor and local business woman who is also a member of the Beaufort Symphony Orchestra.

Shonna White is a former Marine, the wife of a Marine, the mother of two daughters, the owner of Low Country Maid Services -- and a clarinetist with the orchestra.

Shonna was born in Florida. In school in Inverness she learned to play the piano, the saxophone, the oboe and the clarinet. At Citrus High School, she was in the band and also played piano with a group named "Breeze."

She and a friend started talking to a Marine recruiter when Shonna was a senior and he told her about the great opportunities to play with the Marine Corps Band. It sounded exciting, so after graduation Shonna signed up.

She attended the Armed Forces School of Music in Norfolk, Va., after basic training at Parris Island and started playing with one of the three Marine bands in the United States at Quantico, Va. Shonna's Marine career was in public affairs and supply as well as in the band. She was in the Marines from 1991 to 1998 and her band duties took her to many places in the United States as well as to Canada, Japan and New Zealand.

Shonna met her husband, Michael, the first day she was at Parris Island and they married in 1998. After Michael was stationed in Louisiana for a few years, he got a choice of orders and Michael and Shonna chose Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort.

In 2005, Shonna started Low Country Maid Services, which also partners with Cleaning for A Reason, a monthly (for four months) free cleaning service for women undergoing treatment for cancer.

In 2007, a Marine Band percussionist friend who was playing with the Beaufort Symphony told Shonna about the orchestra and encouraged her to audition. She did and for more than four years Shonna has been a proud member of this fine musical ensemble, under the direction of Maestro Fred Devyatkin.

Shonna and Michael's daughters -- Ashley, 13, a clarinetist with the Beaufort Youth Orchestra, and Gabrielle, 11, who has started playing the flute -- are continuing their mother's engagement with music.

Michael will be retiring from the Marine Corps in 2013 and our hope is that this family committed to America, generous in charitable work, energetic, professional and musically gifted, will stay in Beaufort as our neighbors and continue to enrich so many facets of our community.

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