Preview to the symphony

Area residents got a sneak peek into the Symphony in the Flint Hills, which will be held east of El Dorado in June.

In preparation for this, a prelude to the Symphony in the Flint Hills 2014 was held Tuesday evening at the Butler Community College Hubbard Welcome Center.

“We are so pleased to be here in Butler County,” said Board Chair Beth Harshfield.

She announced the symphony would be June 14 at the Rosalia Ranch and thanked those hosting them, including Bill Oats, who was in attendance of the event.

The symphony also will include the sale of 45 pieces of art selected for the event. The winning piece was titled “Hear the Music” by Elaine Lierly Jones from Gardner.

In addition to the sale of the original art, there will be 100 prints made of this piece. Half of the proceeds from the art will go to benefit the Symphony in the Flint Hills program.

“Our mission is to enhance appreciation of the tallgrass prairie and do that through symphonic events,” said Christy Davis, executive director.

She said people from all over the world attend their events.

“Because you are the host, we will be featuring you,” she said.

El Dorado is the host city this year.

For that, they will be exploring the history of the area and working with groups like Tour Butler.

She went on to talk about their patron program, which is made up of people who support their mission year round.

“Only 30 percent of our expenses are paid through ticket sales,” Davis said, adding that they rely on patrons and sponsors, although there are a limited number of patrons each year.

She then introduced Alex Shum, with the Kansas City Symphony, who was there with a string quartet. They performed a number of songs, giving the audience a glimpse into what is to come in June.

Butler County residents will have the opportunity to reserve tickets for the Ninth Annual Symphony in the Flint Hill’s signature event concert.

To reserve tickets to this sellout event, visit the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce (with proof of residency) at 201 E. Central beginning at 8:30 a.m. Monday. A total of 500 tickets will be available for Butler County residents, who may reserve a maximum of four per household. Reservations must be made in person and will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis.  It is expected that they will go quickly. Those who reserve tickets will be provided information about payment arrangements, which must be completed by March 28.

Julie Clements can be reached at jclements@butlercountytimesgazette.com.