In 1956 Fayetteville became a home to an art form that dates back not only years, but centuries. It was in 1956 that the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra was formed. Since then, the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra has pursued the mission, “to entertain, educate, and inspire, by serving as a musical resource for all citizens of Fayetteville, N.C.”
Exposure to, and education about, symphonic music as well as assisting developing musicians are central parts of the commitment to the community by the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra. Julia Atkins, Orchestra Personnel and Marketing Manager for the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra, says that “we like to educate… you are always going to learn something, we believe in always continuing the educational flow.”
The orchestra furthers that effort with events like youth concerts for elementary aged students, Instrument Petting Zoos, and the Music Makers youth program. The orchestra also provides scholarships for music students through the Duenow Concerto Competition. The orchestra has also partnered with Cape Fear Regional Theatre and Cape Fear Botanical Garden on occasion as well.
The orchestra is led by conductor Dr. Fouad Fakhouri who has held the baton since 2004. Prior to joining the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra, Fakhouri conducted orchestras internationally for over 20 years. He has also served in academia with terms at Methodist University, Pennsylvania State, and the University of North Texas as conductor and/or professor. He holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Composition as well as Masters Degrees in Orchestral Conducting and Music for Composition/Theory.
Each of the 70+ plus musicians that make up the four families of the orchestra; woodwinds, brass, strings, and percussion, has dedicated portions of their lives to the instruments they have chosen. Most all have received formal education in their respective instruments, some to Doctoral levels. According to Atkins, “all of the musicians are true professionals.”
On Thursday, May 8, at 7:30 p.m., the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra will perform the last concert of their Salon Series. St. John’s Episcopal Church, on Green Street, will play host to a night of Baroque music; a style of music that rose in popularity during the 1600s and 1700s and includes notable composers such as Bach, Vivaldi and Pachelbel. The show is billed as a “Brass Spectacular” and will feature two trumpets, strings, and harpsichord. Tickets are still available for the night of music that Atkins says will be “a very laid back atmosphere where anyone is welcome to come out and see what music was like back in the 1600s and 1700s.”
Memorial Day weekend the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra will partner with the Army Ground Forces Band from Fort Bragg for a “Symphonic Salute to the U.S. Armed Forces” featuring a variety of patriotic pieces of music. The concert is a return of the event that began last year and will be held at Festival Park on Sunday, May 25 at 7:30 p.m. Atkins describes the event as “a little more of an upbeat concert… it is outdoors, it’s free… bring your lawn chairs and your blankets. Round up your families and come in your patriotic gear.”
Find out more about the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra at www.fayettevillesymphony.org.
Photo: The Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra has several concerts in the coming weeks, including one at Festival Park on May 25.