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Auditorium Remodel Forces Cancellation of Children’s Concert

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Item #: BB14 Item: Guest Conductor Privileges Donor: Sulphur Springs Symphony League Description: Does your bucket list include conducting a full, professional orchestra? Or maybe you have a young family member that loves music. Or maybe you are looking for the perfect gift for the person who has everything. Whatever your reason, this unique opportunity to conduct the Northeast Texas Symphony Orchestra for a song during the Independence Day Celebration concert to be held on Saturday, July 2, 2016 in downtown Sulphur Springs. Guest conductor will practice with the orchestra in the afternoon for about 30 minutes (schedule will be coordinated closer to the date) and then direct a song during the concert that evening.

An annual cultural event for all third, fourth, and fifth graders in all Hopkins County Schools has been canceled. The Sulphur Springs Symphony League has been presenting the annual children’s concert that features a music-focused learning experience for students for the past 18 years. This year the May event has been cancelled due to lack of venue. Over 1,000 students were to have attended the event at the Civic Center/SSISD auditorium.

According to members of the symphony league board, the decision to cancel the event was both difficult and heart breaking. The event allows elementary students to taste classical music presented in a manner that both entertains and educates. This year, the music for the concert had already arrived and the professionally trained musicians and Northeast Texas Symphony Director Doug Bakenhus had scheduled the appearance. However, the continued remodel of the auditorium will not be completed by the May date. No other venues that would seat that number of students and provide the proper acoustical environment for classical music could be found locally. The number of students negated the only backup available—the worship center at First Baptist Church.

The Symphony League supports a number of musical activities for the local school system. They provide not only the Dallas Opera touring company for Middle School students but also support the strings program and donated to the band program during UIL events recently.

The Symphony League does plan to continue the concert for elementary students next year.

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Author: Staff Reporter

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