Fort Smith Symphony aims for wide repertoire next season, will keep shorter concerts, earlier start times tried during pandemic

Posted on: July 23, 2021

Musicians from the Fort Smith Symphony gather at photo shoot ahead of the orchestra’s 2021-22 season. Photo: Laken Emerson

“The Fort Smith Symphony is taking the lessons learned during the pandemic and incorporating them into a 2021-22 season that promises everything fans have always loved—and more,” writes Becca Martin-Brown in Sunday’s (7/18) Arkansas Democrat Gazette. ” ‘We wanted to present a season of variety that audiences would enjoy,’ says Music Director John Jeter…. These are some of the changes for the season … During the Covid-19 shutdown, the Fort Smith Symphony learned that audiences preferred an early start time, so the concerts for 2021-22 will begin at 7 p.m., not 7:30 p.m. as has been traditional…. Jeter also learned that listeners preferred the concert presented without interruption. So in the 2021-22 season, performances will be about 75 minutes without intermission…. ‘We are offering post-concert “after parties” directly after all of our concerts.’… Most of all, Jeter says, audiences reinforced their desire for and support of ‘a mix of programming that includes some classics, popular, holiday and film music … In addition to symphonies by Brahms and Dvořák, the upcoming season includes wonderful music by female composers Florence Price and Amy Beach as well as music by … Joseph Saint-Georges…. What makes all of the concerts special is the experience of a live orchestra.’ ”