Share This Article
The Mountain Home Symphony will be perform a Red, White & Beautiful concert as a part of Mountain Home’s popular Red, White & Blue Festival on Friday, June 23 at The Sheid at ASU-Mountain Home.
Tickets for the event will run $10 for adults, with children under 12 getting in for free. All tickets will be sold at the door. The concert begins 7 p.m., with doors opening at 6 p.m. so guests can be seated.
Fresh off the heels of their Spring/Easter concert, the Mountain Home Symphony will be playing an All-American program in honor of this year’s July 4th celebration.
Originally founded in 1991 as the Mozark Regional Orchestra before transferring its 501(c)(3) status to Arkansas, the Mountain Home Symphony has spent the better part of 30 years attracting some of the best and most spirited performers to its performances.
For some, like Betty Dykstra and Michelle Webb, the symphony presented an opportunity to pick up their instrument and knock the dust off the skills they practiced as children and teenagers.
With others, like Dave Fornes, it was a chance to join together with other musicians after moving his music lesson business to Mountain Home.
Dykstra, who was one of the original members of the symphony, passed away in 2019. While Fornes joined the symphony several years after their first meeting, he remembers the encounter to this day. The orchestra’s stage at the Sheid at ASUMH is named in her honor.
Not everyone that joins and supports the symphony is a musician. Jack Clayton, the retired owner of Nature’s Way, joined the symphony’s board in 2018 after watching a performance that was conducted by Bruce Shaver, the symphony’s current conductor.
At the time, the symphony had waned in popularity. Clayton said he saw potential in Shaver and, after a few discussions with Fornes, joined the symphony to help bring back interest in its performances.
Bruce Shaver has a diverse background in music. Growing up in north Arkansas, he took piano lessons and sang in various churches, schools, and community choirs. He attended Arkansas Tech University and graduated in 2006 with his B.M.E. in Keyboard/Vocal Music Education. Since then, he has taught elementary, middle, and high school students in various schools.
And while Shaver’s time at the helm was put on hold because of COVID-19, he successfully helped put the symphony back together with a series of stellar performances.
As a 501(c)(3), the Mountain Home Symphony provides its younger members with scholarship opportunities so that they can further their education after graduating from high school.
To earn a scholarship with the symphony, high schoolers must perform in the symphony’s various concerts. The more performances a student participates in, the more money they earn through their scholarship.
The Mountain Home Symphony hopes that members of the community will join them at this year’s Red, White and Blue Festival for a full performance of America’s most patriotic music.