New orchestra in Arkansas

Posted on: February 3, 2009

In Sunday’s (2/1) Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Little Rock), Bobby Ampezzan reports that last year, the North Arkansas Symphony Orchestra “canceled its final performance for lack of funds. Conductor Jeannine Wagar voluntarily resigned, relieving the board of a $75,000 salary. … Faced with a closed curtain indefinitely, a group of musicians met in a hotel conference room in Springdale last fall to discuss moving ahead with a new orchestra. Led by former symphony general manager Aldee Marquis and Benton County maestro Miles Fish, the Arkansas Philharmonic is poised with bow on strings. Far from temporary, the new group has formed an eight-member board and already secured dates. The orchestra will debut in a free performance Feb. 14 at the Arend Arts Center in Bentonville. Its first big show is set March 8 at the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville. Proceeds from this ticketed show will go to the musicians, who haven’t seen a paycheck in months but were asked last year to chip in for the symphony’s debt.”