As a longstanding resident of Columbia County and a former board member of Symphony Orchestra Augusta (SOA), I am writing in response to the Nov. 15 story ("Orchestra proposal strikes sour note with local group").
When I was on the Symphony Board, we made a strategic decision to move our 10-year-old chamber series from Augusta to the Jabez S. Hardin Performing Arts Center, in its inaugural season. Our decision was based on the success of our free annual outdoor concert on the Evans campus of University Health Care System and the overwhelming reception we received from so many of the 3,000-plus attendees.
The Columbia County Music Series is now in its fourth season and the free outdoor concert enters its sixth year on May 8, 2010.
Symphony Orchestra Augusta is a committed partner with Columbia County in our mission to share the joy of great musical performance with our audience. Our audience crosses county and state lines throughout the Augusta area and beyond. Our musicians, board members, staff and support groups are made up of residents from across the CSRA - many of whom live in Columbia County.
I join SOA's board president, other board members, members of the orchestra, and staff members - all Columbia County residents - in emphasizing the cultural and economic impact the Symphony has in Columbia County.
SOA ensembles have provided music and lecture/demonstrations to every fourth- and fifth-grade student in Columbia County for more than 20 years. The Symphony is an active member of Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, and our executive director is a board member of the Columbia County Arts Council.
SOA lauds all arts organizations in Columbia County and supports their events, recognizing the important role each plays in Columbia County and throughout the CSRA. As an organization, we have asked the Columbia County Commission to recognize the SOA as the official resident symphony for Columbia County.
Our commitment to Columbia County will continue as we join all arts organizations throughout the county in offering all residents an opportunity to enjoy the wide variety of performing, visual and literary arts available to everyone.
Kitty Beveridge, Martinez
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