By ANGIE CARNATHAN
The MSU/Starkville Symphony is preparing for its fifth annual fundraiser. The event, called “A Crown Affair,” will be held Saturday, Feb. 25 from 7-10 p.m. at the Starkville Country Club. Entertainment will be provided by Musical Malpractice and tickets are available at the Book Mart & Cafe on Main Street and from MSU/Starkville Symphony Association board members.
Past symphony president and 2012 publicity chair of the event Barbara McLaurin said the MSU/Starkville Symphony Association is made up of three components.
“We have the symphony orchestra, the symphony chorus and programs for children,” McLaurin said. “One thing I think makes our organization truly unique is that all of our events are free to the public, and fundraisers like ‘A Crown Affair’ are part of the reason we’re able to do that.”
McLaurin said the symphony association is funded through grants, contributions and fundraisers as opposed to ticket or subscription sales.
MSU/Starkville Symphony President Robert Phillips said the event is not only the group’s main fundraiser for the year, but always a fun evening.
“The Symphony Association depends on its fundraiser to contribute a substantial amount toward its annual $100,000 budget,” Phillips said. “We take pride in the quality of the symphonic music we have been lucky enough to bring to Starkville, but to do so takes interest, participation and money. We are always grateful for the support from the community.”
MSU Music Department Head and symphony conductor Michael Brown said the event is a fun way for the community to show its continued support of the symphony association.
“It is always gratifying as the Music Director of the Starkville Symphony to have people respond to the music with their attendance and applause, but it is also gratifying and equally important to have friends who will respond to us with their financial support,” Brown said.
Jean and Alan Marcus are co-chairing the event. Jean Marcus said she also chaired last year’s event, and enjoyed providing an entertainment surprise
“Shandy Phillips, daughter of Symphony President Robert Phillips and his wife, Lucy, was one of our surprise guests last year,” Marcus said. “She demonstrated the difference between a violin and a fiddle. We also added a little country to the country club with Grammy-nominated banjo player Alan Harelson.”
Marcus said she is planning on providing surprise entertainment during the band intermission this year, but would only provide a couple of clues as to who it might be.
“Why is it called ‘A Crown Affair,’” Marcus hinted. “To whom belongs the crown –– who is the king?”
Marcus said last year’s event was so much fun that although the event was meant to be over at 10 p.m., people were still having a ball at midnight.
“I like to put the ‘fun’ in fundraiser,” Marcus said.
All kidding aside, Marcus believes being able to experience the arts for free is serious business.
“When you have the arts represented in the community, it actually makes the community more economically positive to outside business and people who might be interested in moving here,” Marcus said. “It’s wonderful to have the arts so well-represented in Starkville.”
McLaurin said the final two concerts in this concert season. On March 3 the MSU/Starkville Symphony Orchestra will present “Romantic Rondezvous,” and on March 26 the MSU/Starkville Symphony Chorus will present “Music of American Composers.”
For more information, visit http://www.starkvillemsusymphony.org .