The Ozark Festival Orchestra (OFO) will begin rehearsals for the orchestra's 31st season on Sept. 28. Music Director Ken Meisinger has announced the concert schedule.
The OFO again plans to present its concerts on Sunday afternoons in Monett. Rehearsals will be at 7:15 p.m. on Tuesdays for about six weeks prior to each concert.
The classical music ensemble debuted a commissioned work by former music director David Goza for its 30th season and concluded with a pops concert at the City Park Casino. The performance of the "Nine Lessons and Carols" for Christmas led to the first overflow crowd at the First United Methodist Church in Monett.
The 2010-11 season will begin with a performance at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 31 at the Monett City Hall Auditorium with a Spanish and Mexican theme. Extended excerpts from the most popular of all operas, Bizet's "Carmen," will be paired with dances by Marquez and Rhoades and a march by Codinz.
"Nine Lessons and Carols" with different selections of seasonal music will again be the orchestra's Christmas offering, presented with the Crowder College Community Choir and the Aurora High School Choir. Performances will be given at 7 p.m. on Dec. 5 at the First Baptist Church in Neosho and on Sunday, Dec. 12 at 3 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Monett.
The third concert will be the soloist's showcase at 3 p.m. on Feb. 21, 2011, at the Monett City Hall Auditorium. Donald Ryan, adjunct professor of piano at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla., will be featured as soloist on the Piano Concerto by Robert Schumann. The OFO will play the Schumann concerto for the first time in honor of the 200th anniversary of the composer's birth.
The annual Young Artists' Concert is slated for 3 p.m. on April 3 at the Monett City Hall Auditorium. Young people from across southwest Missouri will audition in January, 2011 for the chance to perform with the orchestra. The concert will include the works auditioned plus complementary orchestral works.
The season will conclude with the annual Pops in the Park benefit concert on May 15 at the Monett City Park Casino. The admission price will include homemade pie and ice cream. Favorite tunes from the Broadway stage and cinema as well as marches, dances and patriotic favorites will be played. Doors for the pops concert will open at 1:30 p.m and the music will start at 2:15 p.m.
Instrumentalists of any age are needed for the orchestra. Some sections are limited due to the number of instruments needed to play the music. Players are welcome to contact Meisinger at 417-626-8194 for more information.
The Ozark Festival Orchestra is supported by memberships, donations, local foundations and ads in the season's program book.