Sunday, October 01, 2000

Lebanon concert season grows

By Cindi Andrews
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LEBANON — The way the Lebanon Symphony Orchestra and Chorus sees it, if the city's going to grow — and it surely has been — its musical offerings should expand, too.

        “There are all kinds of new people that have experienced the arts where they come from,” said Bob Walton, a new resident himself who has gotten involved in helping the musical group. “At the end of the day you're in Lebanon and you'd like to stay in Lebanon” for your cultural fix.

        The orchestra and chorus is kicking off its fourth season as a combined group with two extra shows, increased community involvement and its first fund-raising campaign, led by Mr. Walton.

        The group is aiming eventually to fill Lebanon High School's 1,200-seat auditorium, Mr. Walton said. Audiences have averaged 300.

        The six-show season runs from October through June and includes such challenging pieces as Poulenc's “Stabat Mater” and Beethoven's Ninth.

        But tackling difficult music is not a new idea for the chorus and orchestra, Music Director David Donovan said.

        “We have never liked claiming victory over easy stuff,” said Mr. Donovan, chorus and music teacher at Berry Middle School in Lebanon.

        What's new is the effort to increase the group's profile, such as by expanding the board of directors from about 12 to 20 and including more non-performers on it, said board Director William Donovan, a chorus member and David Donovan's father.

        The goal in the fund-raising campaign, which will be come annual, is $65,000, Mr. Walton said. Different funding levels earn donors public recognition and/or entry to events. The campaign runs through November.

        The rest of the orchestra and chorus' $77,000 budget — about a 50 percent increase over last year's — is expected to come from grants. The Fine Arts Fund in Cincinnati just awarded the group $6,000, Mr. Walton said.



        Queen City Brass (guest brass quintet), Oct. 22.

        Stories of Christmas (orchestra and chorus perform Verdi and others), Dec. 10.

        Enchanted Nights (orchestra performs Debussy's Three Nocturnes and more), Feb. 10.

        Information, (513) 932-7376 or (513) 583-1443.


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