May 19 concert aims to bring series back to area

Published 6:16 pm Tuesday, May 17, 2022

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Community members comprising the Board of Directors for the Franklin-Southampton Community Concert Association are seeking to revitalize the association after the COVID-19 pandemic, and they are doing this by holding a free spring concert at Southampton High School on Thursday evening, May 19, featuring the Virginia Symphony Orchestra.

Carolyn Beale, who is a member of the association’s Board of Directors, said that due to the pandemic, “We haven’t had a concert in over two years.”

She said that she and her 11 fellow board members want to see if they can get the association activated again.

“So we have had several meetings and decided we would divide up the responsibilities and make a go of it,” she said. 

The board’s plan involves holding the May 19 concert to gauge public interest in a new concert series. 

“If we see great input from the community, if we get people to know about it and we see lots of good attendance, it would be worth our while to try and set up a series for 2023-24,” Beale said. “It takes a good year to do all the planning and book all the concerts and that sort of thing. So that’s what we’re trying to do.”

The association already had the funds to make the spring concert possible, courtesy of The Camp Foundation.

“Basically, they foot the bill for the Virginia Symphony (Orchestra) to come every year for a concert at Southampton High School, and so we decided if we didn’t use the money, we’d lose it,” Beale said.

She expressed her gratitude for The Camp Foundation’s now-decades-long generosity, and she also praised school officials for giving the association’s concerts a venue.

“All of our concerts are at Southampton High School because of the size of the auditorium, and they have been pretty easy to work with,” she said. “I’m very pleased with that.”

The May 19 concert, which begins at 7:30 p.m., will feature a variety of musical genres, including some that may appeal to a younger audience, which Beale said the concert association is seeking to reach.

She noted that the VSO always performs some classical works, but they are usually easily recognizable. The orchestra will be playing selections from Ludwig van Beethoven, George Frideric Handel and Antonín Dvořák.

Broadway and movie music fans will also have something to look forward to in the program.

“There’s also some Broadway music from ‘The Sound of Music,’ there’s music from the movie ‘Titanic,’ there’s also a patriotic selection that’s going to end the concert — ‘America The Beautiful,’ which is always fabulous,” Beale said.

She also emphasized that while ticket prices for concerts elsewhere can be high, this spring concert will be free, so she encouraged people to bring their families.