October 2, 2023

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Taneycomo Festival Orchestra to play in the park | News Free

The public is invited to a concert experience in the park series in Hollister, where it can enjoy nature while listening to classical musicians play a classical selection.

The Taneycomo Festival Orchestra will be performing its 10th season, which will include five concerts at the Chad A. Fuqua Memorial Park in Hollister June 17-25. All concerts will start at 7:30 p.m.

– Thursday, June 17, TFO All-Star Soloists

– Friday, June 18, Taneycomo Festival Orchestra will play selections including Jessie Montgomery – Strum; Johann Sebastian Bach – Brandenburg Concerto No. 4; and Felix Mendelssohn – Symphony No. 3 (Scottish Symphony)

– Wednesday, June 23, Music by Living Composers

– Thursday, June 24, Our Favorite Pieces

– Friday, June 25, Taneycomo Festival Orchestra will play a selection including Joseph Bologne – Chevalier de Saint-Georges – Symphony No. 2; Ivan Stravensky – Pulcinella Suite; and Ludwig Van Beethoven – Symphony No. 6 (Pastorale)

In the case of inclement weather, concerts will be held at First Presbyterian Church with limited seating.

Taneycomo Festival Orchestra Founder Larkin Sanders said she was inspired to start the orchestra after attending a similar event during graduate school. 

“I started the TFO 10 years ago. It came to me when I was at a similarly run music festival in Minnesota called Chamber Music Midwest. It was run by one of my dearest friends at the time. I was attending as both the solo clarinetist and as the resident composer. It really helped me to come back to life in music,” Sanders said. “You get a really valuable experience of making music unsupervised. I was still in school at the time, so it was the first time in my life that I got to make the full artistic and musical decisions for myself. It was invaluable not only to my career as a musician but also just to my life. It changed everything for me.” 

The orchestra was created with the hopes of bringing classical music to the Branson area, Sanders said. 

“Branson is my hometown. I graduated from Branson High School in 2005. I never thought I would be able to return to Branson to play music. I basically graduated, got out and was like, ‘There is nothing for me here because I am a classical musician,’” Sanders said. “I made that change. I was inspired after Chamber Music (Midwest) to start something in Branson. Chamber Music Midwest was in a place where there were very few resources, and Branson has many resources.

“I built the orchestra around some of my favorite colleagues and friends from school and my professional life and beyond. Being able to play music with them and being able to play music for my hometown community is pretty much the best thing ever. “

The Taneycomo Festival Orchestra hosted its debut season in 2012 with eight concerts featuring 40 musicians.

“Since 2012, the festival has grown to an orchestra of about 100 (musicians). They are from all over the world,” Sanders said. “The core musicians are part of my personal network, (including) friends I went to school with at the University of Kansas, Michigan State and Florida State. The network has expanded so now we have hubs in Texas, New York and California as well. This year there are 40 musicians coming to play in our orchestra. We have 10 core members who have played with us all 10 years.”

All the concerts are free to the public. 

“We do accept donations and sponsorships to make the organization sustainable for the future,” Sanders said. “We are able to fundraise to keep all of our concerts free.” 

Sanders said the organization has sponsors in the area that help musicians who travel here to be a part of the orchestra. 

“When the musicians are in the area, they are put up with host families so people donate spaces in their homes in the area which is a fun and exciting experience,” Sanders said. “We have people who have been hosting for all 10 years. We have a lot of people in the community who will donate food to the group (and) the musicians will sometimes call it the food orchestra. Between the way we do housing and food, we’re able to continue to raise the talent in the orchestra. Between donations that turned into stipends and stuff like that, we see the organization growing and developing in the future.”

Sanders said she hopes the concerts will encourage people to experience classic music.

“Everything is free, so if (someone) has had a hesitation about attending a classical music event or if they are not sure if classical music is for them, they literally have nothing to lose by coming out,” Sanders said. “It should be a blast.”

For the June 18 concert, Taneycomo Festival Orchestra is collaborating with Southwest Missouri Arts Connection for its Taneycomo Arts Picnic. For more information on the Taneycomo Arts Picnic check out ‘Taneycomo Arts Picnic next week in Hollister’ at bransontrilakesnews.com.

“Nature, plus art, plus music, plus food equals an all sensory experience,” Sanders said. “It will probably be unlike anything anyone has ever really experienced in the area before.”

For more information visit taneycomofestivalorchestra.org.