Valentine’s Day took on musical overtones notes the Maryville High School Orchestra performed their annual Valentine concert at a new venue, the Clayton Center for the Arts.
It was the first public performance in the main hall of the center, and orchestra director Bill Robinson said the event drew a crowd of about 1,100 people. “The kids performed really well. I think people liked the building even though it is still not finished,” he said. “There was some dust and not all the electric outlets were working, but for the first-time out with an early test run, everyone was pleased.”
Robinson said he liked the sound of the building. “Being on stage. it sounded so much different from any place the students have performed, and kids were real excited about getting to perform there. From all reports, it was a success,” he said.
The concert is the orchestra’s annual fundraiser and is the only concert where they charge admission. “We’ve done it for the past eight years and have been doing it in the Family Life Center at First Baptist Church of Maryville,” he said.
The director said the event raised between $5,000 and $6,000 for the orchestra.
Funds raised are used for scholarships for students to get lessons, attend music camps or to help defray costs of festivals students win the honor of attending. The funds also help cover expense and other items related to class that the school can not provide, Robinson said.
Maryville High School graduate Mark Wagner performed as a musical guest. Master of Ceremonies was teacher Roger Murphy. “Wagner did a good job, and I was very happy, as was he, that he got to perform in front of a hometown crowd. We enjoyed playing with him,” Robinson said. “And Roger is always entertaining as the MC.”
Robinson said everyone in the audience was as excited about the soon-to-be-completed Clayton Center for the Arts as the orchestra members were. “It is going to make a difference in the community and give us opportunities we’ve never had before,” he said.