Thursday, September 20, 2012
The Southwestern College South Kansas Symphony will present its first concert of the season on Sunday, Sept. 23, at 3 p.m., in the Richardson Performing Arts Center on the Southwestern College campus. The concert will feature the Schubert “Unfinished Symphony” and the “Wasps” overture by Vaughan Williams.
“It is my honor to conduct the fine musicians of the South Kansas Symphony,” says executive director and conductor Daniel Stevens. “The 2012-2013 season will provide audiences with an incredible cross-sampling of music. We like to bring some of the most difficult classical music to the Richardson Performing Arts Center stage, while making this music accessible and fun for the entire family.”
The South Kansas Symphony ensemble draws from the best of collegiate and public community musicians who rehearse once each week in the new acoustically-crafted Richardson Performing Arts Center. The South Kansas Symphony also hosts educational opportunities for aspiring young musicians in the Southwestern College Youth Symphonies.
The Southwestern College Youth Symphonies (SCYS) provides musical training and performance opportunities to talented students in South-Central Kansas and Northern Oklahoma. Now growing to more than 80 student musicians from a dozen school districts, the SCYS strives to maintain a rich heritage of classical music in the region. The SCYS encourages students to achieve musical excellence, function as members of a team, and appreciate the talents of peers in the ensemble. Many musicians make lasting friendships with other members of the orchestra.
“We are now in a position to offer formal classical training to 150 or more musicians in our region,” says Stevens. “I believe that no other rural town has such a rich heritage as Winfield in keeping high-caliber music a priority for its residents. From bluegrass to Bach, concerts in Halloween costumes, to the ever-popular Symphony on the Prairie, we continue to find ways to speak to a new generation about the passion of the arts in our life. I want to thank the administration at Southwestern College for believing in our mission and the families and musicians who have supported the South Kansas Symphony and Southwestern College Youth Symphonies by volunteer service and concert attendance. I am always amazed how a near sell-out crowd brings an electricity to the stage that is unexplainable. Musicians are motivated by the energy within the performing arts center, knowing that a particular moment on stage (or wave of the baton) will never be replicated exactly the same way again. To know that our audiences are part of a distinct moment in history that speaks to the heart of human compassion, creativity, and resolve.”
The South Kansas Symphony and Southwestern College Youth Symphonies offer many upcoming concerts that are sure to please:
· Sept. 23—SKS “Classics from Near and Far,” Richardson Performing Arts Center
· Sept. 30—SCYS “Falling Leaves,” Richardson Performing Arts Center
· Oct. 28—SKS “Halloween Unplugged,” Richardson Performing Arts Center
· Dec. 2—SKS “Christmas Past, Present, and Future,” Richardson Performing Arts Center
· Dec. 16—SCYS “Christmas Memories,” Richardson Performing Arts Center
· Feb. 16—SCYS Play-a-Thon in Towne West Mall, Wichita
· Feb. 24—SCYS “Out on the Town,” Wichita South High School
· April 6—SKS “Chamber Music in the Round,” Richardson Performing Arts Center
· April 21—SKS “At Home on the Ranch,” Dick & Dolly Bonfy Ranch
· May 5—SCYS “Spring Awakening,” Richardson Performing Arts Center
Single ticket prices range from $6-$10 and may be purchased in advance or at the door. Season tickets are available to all 10 concerts starting at $46 (“Chamber Music in the Round” fundraiser not included). For more information or tickets, call Rose Hanna at (620) 229-6272.
“We also want to invite community leaders, business owners, and arts benefactors to join the SC Golden Circle,” mentions Stevens. “The Golden Circle is a membership society that sponsors instrumental music at Southwestern College. For a $260 pledge per person, per season, the Golden Circle member is given priority seating at all concerts, invited to two formal dinners at the Winfield Country Club, and admitted to numerous catered receptions throughout the season. Members also receive recognition on concert programs. In light of the recent economy, we are so blessed to have Golden Circle members support the need to keep instrumental programs thriving in Winfield. Their gifts sustain the many needs of the orchestral program throughout the season, and help inspire future planning of the ensembles.”
Southwestern College is a private institution granting undergraduate and graduate degrees and is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. About 1,700 students attend classes at the main Winfield campus, at six professional studies sites in Kansas and Oklahoma, or online around the world.