Friday, October 11, 2013

EDITORIAL >> Local orchestra

The Jacksonville Community Orchestra is off to a great start. The all-volunteer community orchestra is conducted by Christina Dodson Null and is an initiative of the Jacksonville Arts Council, which is led by Roberta McGrath.

Twenty musicians attended the group’s first rehearsal of Johann Strauss II’s “The Blue Danube,” among other classical masterpieces. The orchestra is planning a debut concert in late January.

Dr. Alan Storeygard, a Jacksonville physician who sponsors an annual classical music concert series in Jacksonville, is chairman of the arts council’s music division. He describes Null as a dynamo. As a descendant of the city’s founding father, Nicholas Jackson, she’s the perfect choice to lead the orchestra.

Null told us recently, “(A community orchestra) has been a dream of mine since they took strings out of the Pulaski County Special School District. I wanted to bring it back. It would open up a beautiful world of classical music to a kid.”

The Jacksonville Advertising and Promotion Commission, which controls how the city’s revenue from the hamburger tax is spent, should make sure that the community orchestra is included in its budget for next year. Imagine, a Fourth of July concert with homegrown classical musicians or chamber music at the farmers market. It would be a wise investment compared to some of the A&P’s other choices.

The community orchestra’s next rehearsal will be held Sunday. (See event notebook on page 2A.)

For more information call, Null at 419-591-6130 or contact McGrath at 501-985-2165 or e-mail