OFO announces plans for 33rd season

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Ozark Festival Orchestra has announced plans for its 33rd season. Based in Monett, the classical music orchestra will again perform five concerts from October through May.

Music director Ken Meisinger will return for a 14th season. This year's focus will be more on lighter classics. All of the concerts will be held on Sunday afternoons.

The first concert will be at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 28 at the commons of the renovated Monett Elementary School. The concert will be sponsored by the Monett Community Foundation and a reception will follow the performance.

The music will include the "Toy Symphony," a piece written for an orchestra with a variety of unusual toy instruments included. The work is attributed to either Franz Joseph Haydn, known for his musical jokes, or Leopold Mozart, the father of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, or Haydn's brother, Michael. In any case, the music has charmed audiences for over two centuries.

Other works will include the "Blue Danube Waltz" by Johann Strauss II, "Variations on a Korean Folksong" by Chance, "Londonderry Suite" by Washburn and more.

The Christmas concert this year will be back at the Monett City Hall Auditorium. Secular Christmas music such as Leroy Anderson's "Sleigh Ride," Irving Berlin's "White Christmas," plus Reed's "Russian Christmas Music" and sing-along carols will be featured. The concert will be at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9.

The soloist's showcase at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013, will put the spotlight on mezzo-soprano Susan Smith, from Missouri Southern State University, who will present "Songs of the Heart" for soloist and orchestra.

The annual Young Artists Concert will be back at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 7., 2013. Young people from across southwest Missouri will audition in January for a chance to play a movement from a concerto with the orchestra. Other selections will be determined once the pieces played by the soloists are determined.

The spring benefit concert, which has been held at the Monett City Park Casino, will be held on Sunday, May 19, 2013. Works by Andrew Lloyd Webber, John Williams, Lerner and Loewe plus patriotic marches and popular favorites will be featured.

The orchestra rehearses at 7:15 p.m. on Tuesdays at the Monett City Hall Auditorium. Rehearsals run about six weeks prior to each performance. The first rehearsal will be on Sept. 25.

Instrumentalists are welcome to play in the orchestra. Players must be able to read music. Anyone interested in playing can contact Meisinger at kemeisinger@sbcglobal.net or call 417-626-8194.

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