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Morning Sun
  • Symphony at Sunset

  • Bug repellent and lawn chairs aren’t usually needed at a Southeast Kansas Symphony concert. However, the group has never before presented anything like its upcoming “Symphony at Sunset.”



    The event will be held at 6  p.m. Sunday in the Mined Land Wildlife area, located 2.3 miles west of 20th Street and the U.S. 69 Bypass.

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  • Bug repellent and lawn chairs aren’t usually needed at a Southeast Kansas Symphony concert. However, the group has never before presented anything like its upcoming “Symphony at Sunset.”
    The event will be held at 6  p.m. Sunday in the Mined Land Wildlife area, located 2.3 miles west of 20th Street and the U.S. 69 Bypass.
    “A lot of people know this area as the old quail farm,” said Stella Hastings, symphony director. “It’s also next to the Southeast Kansas Humane Society.”
    She said the idea for having the outdoor concert came from a community member, who pointed out that the Kansas City Symphony has an annual Flint Hills concert.
    “The Flint Hills concert is a full-day event with a couple of miles walk included,” Hastings said. “This is just going to be the concert.
    Tickets will be $25 per person, with proceeds going into the symphony’s operating fund.
    “This isn’t going to be a ‘wear your suit or concert dress’ event. We’re urging people to wear casual clothes and comfortable walking shoes, and to bring lawn chairs. The musicians will be wearing khaki and white tops.”
    She said assistants would be available starting at 5 p.m. to park cars and help carry lawn chairs to the concert site. “For those who would have a problem walking to the site, we’ll have golf carts driven by Pittsburg State University ROTC officers,” Hastings said.
    Those attending will receive a complimentary glass of wine or non-alcoholic beverage, as well as bug repellent sheets if needed.
    Bugs aren’t welcome, but there’s one wild “guest” that Hastings hopes will make an appearance.
    “I’ve been out at the concert site several times this week, and a beautiful great blue heron has been perched there,” Hastings said. “I want to call him Aaron, after the composer Aaron Copland.
    Copland’s “Hoedown” will be featured in the concert, along with other music chosen to celebrate Kansas and Americana. “This will be very much a pops concert, with some special selections at the end that I don’t want to give away,” the symphony director said.
    Special preparations have been made to help the musicians to play in the outdoor setting, including Plexiglas sheets and clothespins to keep their music from blowing off the stands.
    “They are up to the challenges that nature will throw their way,” Hastings said.
    But there are exceptions. “There will be wooden instruments out there that can’t have even one drop of water on them,” Hastings said. “So, in case of rain the concert will be moved to the lower level of Pittsburg Memorial Auditorium.”
    She recommended buying tickets in advance through the PSU Ticket Office, 235-4796, but added that it will also be possible to purchase tickets at the site. “If there’s any question about whether the concert has been moved indoors or not, people will be able to check the SEK Symphony web site at www.seksymphony.org or call 249-4469 for confirmation,” Hastings said.

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