..........................................................History of the Magic Valley Symphony
The Magic Valley Symphony was born as the Twin Falls Civic Symphony, growing from the nucleus of musicians who played for the first Dilettantes of Magic Valley production, "Carousel," in March 1959. Starting rehearsals in the fall of 1959, the first performance was on February 1, 1960, in the old O'Leary Junior High Auditorium under the direction of Richard Smith, string teacher for Twin Falls Schools. Del Slaughter, another music educator for the school district, became conductor in 1963 and led the Symphony for twelve seasons. Under Slaughter's leadership as director, and his wife Julienne Slaughter as concertmaster, the Symphony's two concerts per season featured soloists from southern Idaho, the University of Idaho, and the Salt Lake City area.
In November 1969, the orchestra gave its first concert in the new College of Southern Idaho Fine Arts Auditorium. Because the orchestra had come to include so many people from outside Twin Falls, the Symphony's name was changed to the Magic Valley Symphony in 1970. In 1975 Lawrence Curtis, a professor of music at CSI, took over the baton. From 1977 to 1982, Curtis brought nationally- and internationally-known solo artists every November.
After sharing conducting duties with Theodore Hadley during the 1982-1983 season, Carson Wong, professor of music at CSI, became conductor and music director of the Symphony. During the tenure of Maestro Wong the Symphony sponsored a composition contest, awarded youth soloist scholarships, and in 1984 began the tradition of an annual spring Pops concert.
Three guest conductors were featured during the 1989-1990 season: Theodore Hadley, Balthasar Buhidar, and Bruce Whitehead. Mr. Hadley was named conductor and music director in 1990. During his first year on the podium, Maestro Hadley expanded the season from three concerts to four.
Through the years the Symphony has continued to grow and excel, involving new community partners and countless volunteers. During the 27 years under the baton of Maestro Hadley, he has nurtured musician development and tenure, counseled investment in youth programs, and brought professional musicians with local ties back home to perform. The Symphony provides a rewarding opportunity where adult volunteer musicians can pursue their lifetime musical avocations and enjoy the health benefits of continuing to make beautiful music. The concerts are a valuable community asset that bring artists and music not readily accessible otherwise to an interested audience, and include art exhibits and after-concert receptions.
Now presenting the 57th consecutive season, the Symphony is proud to be the acknowledged leader in the music community of southern Idaho.
That leadership extends beyond the live performance of orchestral music to include these youth programs:
---Carma's Kids: in cooperation with the Magic Valley Symphony League, a program that rewards young musicians for meeting practice standards set by their teachers.
---Youth Soloist Competition: a biennial concerto contest for advanced young musicians,winners of which are awarded substantial scholarships and the opportunity to appear as a soloist with the Symphony, strengthening their portfolio for conservatory admission.
---MVS Scholarships: in addition to supporting one deserving CSI MusicFest student, the Symphony’s own scholarship program provides financial support for college expenses, music camps and other needs.
During the 2009-10 concert seson, we celebrated our 50th anniversary. Then for our 2014-15 season we honored one of the greatest secrets of our success: 25 years of dedicated leadership of Director of Music/Conductor Theodore Anchor Hadley. Today Magic Valley Symphony looks forward to many more years of excellent, memorable concerts and leadership in the arts community of southern Idaho.
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