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South Kansas Symphony Season Kicks Off on Sunday

The Southwestern College South Kansas Symphony (SKS) will present its first concert of the season on Sunday, Sept. 29, at 3 p.m., in the Richardson Performing Arts Center on the Southwestern College campus.  The title of the concert is “Suite Dreams.”

“The first concert, ‘Suite Dreams,’ includes several pieces that are collections of dances,” says Daniel Stevens, executive director and conductor for the SKS.  “When several dance movements are combined in one composition, it is called a ‘suite.’  Pieces range from the dramatic ‘Pélleas and Mélisande’ by Gabirel Faure to the pastoral ‘Scenes Pittoresques’ by Jules Massenet.  The performance is rounded out by the raucous ‘Colas Breugnon Overture’ by Dmitri Kabalevsky and the string-only piece by Edvard Grieg titled ‘Holberg Suite.’”

The South Kansas Symphony ensemble draws from the best of collegiate and public community musicians who rehearse once each week in the Richardson Performing Arts Center.

“This season balances favorite classical works with fun, light-spirited music for all ages,” Stevens says.  “Our audiences continue to enjoy the South Kansas Symphony musicians, a mixture of 60 collegiate and community instrumentalists from the region.  The musicians spend Monday evenings in rehearsals on campus, and numerous hours outside of rehearsals bringing entertainment to our growing audiences.”

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.

According to Stevens, the South Kansas Symphony and Southwestern College Youth Symphonies offer many upcoming concerts that are sure to please:

• Sept. 29—SKS “Suite Dreams,” Richardson Performing Arts Center
• Oct. 6—SCYS “Fall Festivities,” Richardson Performing Arts Center
• Oct. 12—“Homecoming Kaleidoscope” (features all the musical ensembles at Southwestern College and is free to attend) Richardson Performing Arts Center
• Oct. 27—SKS “Mystery & Mayhem,” Richardson Performing Arts Center
• Dec. 8—SKS “Holiday Sleigh Ride,” Richardson Performing Arts Center
• Dec. 15—SCYS “Snow & Mistletoe,” Richardson Performing Arts Center
• Feb. 16—SCYS “Winter Sunset,” Richardson Performing Arts Center
• March 2—SCYS Play-a-Thon in Towne West Mall, Wichita
• March  9—SKS “Scenes from the New World,” Richardson Performing Arts Center 
• April 5—SKS “Chamber, Chatter, & Chocolate,” Bluestem Place
• April 27—SKS “On the Prairie,” Dick & Dolly Bonfy Ranch
• May 4—SCYS “Spring Flowers,” 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, Chatter, & Chocolate” 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.”

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