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With the holidays right around the corner, it’s time to start getting into the Christmas spirit.
To start off the holiday season, the Mountain Home Symphony is returning this Sunday for its annual Christmas performance.
Sunday’s concert will be held at the Vada Sheid Community Development Center at Arkansas State University-Mountain Home, starting at 2:30 p.m. Doors for the concert open at 2 p.m.
Tickets for the concert will cost $10 at the door. Children under the age of 12 get in for free.
This year’s performance will feature new Christmas music that has been chosen by Mountain Home Symphony Conductor Bruce Shaver to coincide with the newly formed “Symphony Singers,” who will sing alongside the symphony during the second act.
The Symphony Singers were formed by Charlotte Jackson, a violinist in the orchestra, as a way to give local singers a chance to perform throughout the year. This year’s group will consist of roughly 35 local singers.
Jack Clayton, vice president of the board for the Mountain Home Symphony, said the new group is expected to become a permanent part of the Mountain Home Symphony during future performances.
“The reason we got such a good response to this, is there is no other outlet for singers other than the churches, which in a lot of cases don’t have their choirs anymore,” Clayton said.
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.
Bruce Shaver, a conductor with a diverse background in music, will be conducting the concert.
Growing up in north Arkansas, Shaver 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.
The Mountain Home Symphony is a volunteer orchestra made up of about 50 talented musicians from southern Missouri and Northern Arkansas.
While the Mountain Home Symphony has a robust number of instruments and musicians currently playing within it, Clayton said the orchestra is looking to add more woodwinds and strings to its lineup.
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.