LIMA — The Lima Symphony Orchestra unveiled its new season titled, “The Farewell Season.” This is Maestro Crafton Beck’s final season as conductor of the Lima Symphony Orchestra.
“This year, I feel like Crafton did an incredible job of bringing just outstanding programs,” said Sara Chongson, marketing and education coordinator for the Lima Symphony Orchestra. “It’s almost like the best-of in classical music which I think is a real testament to Crafton and all that he’s done for the symphony. It’s going to be a wonderful season for him to go out on.”
The opening performance, Cirque De La Symphonie, on Oct. 13 features aerial flyers and acrobats who perform choreographed routines to the great symphonic works.
“It’s just like visually stunning, plus what I love about that, that’s a family concert, even though it’s not billed that way, it’s going to be appealing to children. This is something that you can go and listen to the music but you will also have something visually that’s going to draw you in. So you have a real experience,” said Chongson.
The New Year’s Eve Concert on Dec. 31 features the music of ABBA.
“I don’t think ABBA ever really left popular culture. I’m a fan and there are a lot of fans out there. We want everyone to put their platform shoes on. Disco is sultry and enduring so we’ve got ‘Mama Mia,’ ‘The Winner Takes it All’ and ‘Dancing Queen.’ This is also a family friendly concert. I feel like kids should be introduced to the classics. It’s going to be a great night,” said Chongson.
Back by popular demand is the Family Concert: “Star Wars” on March 3.
“In 2016, I think that they anticipated that this concert was going to be successful, but I didn’t even think they realized what a huge impact it actually made. So when they were talking about it planning for this season, they said, why not, let’s do it. Give the people what they want. It is a phenomenon, it appeals to everyone. You can bring your five-year-old son, grandma and great-grandma. Everyone knows ‘Star Wars.’ We’ll have both the music and characters that you love, so again, it’s a real experience. There will be lots of fun surprises that the children and the grown up children will enjoy too. It’s a pleasure to bring something that I know people are going to love. Star Wars, that’s a no-brainer,” said Chongson.
The traditional concerts are continuing with Bells, Brass & Bows and Mozart by Candlelight. This year the Lima Symphony Orchestra will be performing Mozart by Candlelight in Wapakoneta as well as in Lima.
Beck’s last concert is April 6.
“Our last concert is called Triumph and Farewell which is a fitting title, a fitting and fond farewell. Crafton chose the ‘Resurrection’ symphony maybe because it’s a personal favorite of his, and also because he felt it really captures the spirit of the day,” said Chongson.
Tickets are available at the Lima Symphony Orchestra office or online at www.LimaSymphony.com.
“This year, we’re continuing to sell our subscriptions, but we’re also selling single tickets now. They went on sale June 1, so if you want single tickets, you can get them online or you can call our office at 419-222-5701,” said Chongson. “We want to use the summer to sell such a great season.”
The Symphony board is searching now for a new maestro.
“Next season what we hope is to have a season of finalists. So for every concert it will be like an audition for a new conductor. So the community can hopefully come check everyone out and we’ll get feedback from the community and see who really will be the best fit to take over the symphony. That will be fun. It’s not a rush process for sure,” said Chongson.
Beck’s contributions to the Lima Symphony Orchestra can be seen in the growth that the symphony experienced over his 22 years as maestro.
“What Crafton did for the symphony will always remain, and so he’ll always be beloved by the people here and people are so appreciative of his contributions. We wanted to make sure his last season is big and celebratory, not too sad,” said Chongson.
Reach Merri Hanjora at 567-242-0511.