Ozark Festival Orchestra to begin rehearsals for 34th season

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Ozark Festival Orchestra has begun preparations for its 34th season. The first concert will be held on Sunday, Nov. 3 at the new Monett City Park Casino.

Players of any instrument are invited to contact the orchestra about playing in the 40-piece ensemble, which primarily performs classical music. Rehearsals are held at 7:15 p.m. on Tuesdays at the Monett City Hall Auditorium, beginning on Oct. 1.

Musicians who did not play in the orchestra last season are encouraged to contact music director Ken Meisinger at 417-626-8194.

According to Meisinger, who returns for his 15th season as music director, several changes are being tried in the OFO schedule to sustain the program.

The first concert of the season will be the "Pops in the Park" performance, switching from the last performance of the season in May. The concert will continue the orchestra's "pie and ice cream benefit" format for the pops performance. Admission will be $10 and include a piece of pie and ice cream.

The pops concert will feature a potpourri of Broadway show tunes, motion picture music and patriotic music to honor military veterans.

The switch in the schedule also reflects the increasing difficulty the orchestra has had finding players in May, when many performers are involved in activities for the end of the school year. To avoid the scheduling issue, the orchestra will only offer four concerts this season.

The remaining concerts will be held at the Monett City Hall Auditorium, Fifth and Bond streets, all at 3 p.m. on a Sunday.

The Christmas concert will be the next performance on Dec. 8. Meisinger described the selections as "traditional Christmas music with sing-along chorales to put families in the Christmas Spirit."

The third concert will be the Soloist's Showcase on Feb. 23, 2014. Meisinger will take the stage as a performer in the "Concertino for Bass Tuba and Strings" by Artur Frakenpohl. Theater music by Franz Schubert and the popular "Courtly Dances" from Benjamin Britten's opera "Gloriana" will complete the program.

The final concert will be the 15th annual Young Artists Concert on April 6, 2014. Soloists will be young musicians who audition before a panel of judges for a chance to play with the orchestra. Other works by the orchestra will be performed.

The OFO receives support from members, donations, ads in the program book and funds managed by the Monett Community Foundation.

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