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EDITORIAL — Symphony: Reach out to what is great here

Last week’s “demi concert” at the Museum of the Gulf Coast was a delightful reminder that we live not merely in the shadow of a wonderful symphony but within its warmth and light.

The Symphony of Southeast Texas made its presence felt in downtown Port Arthur for the third time within a year when Jennifer Isadore and Hope Cowan of the symphony performed six works for an enthusiastic audience at the museum. Motiva Enterprises hosted the event, extending a gift to those who would receive it.

The event follows a spring concert at Lamar State College Port Arthur last May and a Christmas concert at the Woodrow Wilson Early Childhood College last December. Both events drew large audiences. Motiva sponsored or helped sponsor all three.

The demi concert fell during the same calendar week as Motiva’s celebration of its planned development of office space in downtown Port Arthur, a block off Procter Street, in two ramshackle yet historically significant buildings — unpolished jewels — at the intersection of Fifth Street and Austin Avenue. Motiva is committed to polishing those jewels, just as it is committed to support our regional symphony.

Symphony leaders said the demi concert was planned well before the second, larger Motiva celebration two days later. It was just happenstance the events fell within a couple of days of one another. The symphony says it wants to keep its links to Port Arthur; although the SOST is based in Beaumont, it presents itself as a regional symphony, confirmed by its recent schedule.

Maistro Chelsea Tipton took a moment to introduce next season’s 2019-20 schedule, featuring four classical and two pops performances. It’s an attractive lineup.

Classical performances are:

  • 7:30 p.m. Sept. 14, “The Titans of the Classics: Beethoven and Shostakovich.”
  • 7:30 p.m. Nov. 16, “A Celebration of Mozart, Rossini and SOST!”
  • 7:30 p.m. Feb. 15, “The Romantic Spirit of Music,” (chorus included).
  • 7:30 p.m. April 14, “A Renewal of Spirit: Elgar and the Common Man.”

Pops performances are:

  • 7:30 p.m. Oct. 5, “The Piano Man Meets the Rocket Man.”
  • 7:30 p.m. March 7, “We’re Off to See the Wizard.”

Our demi concert and previous appearances remind us that our symphony provides Greater Port Arthur and Mid County people with the opportunity to enjoy first-rate entertainment close to home. So Motiva supports the symphony, the symphony supports Port Arthur. And Port Arthur people? Well, we should enjoy. We’ve had time and opportunity to learn about and appreciate our symphony.

Those things that bring strength to our community — economic prosperity, among them — are especially worthwhile when they enable us to reach out to that which is beautiful — in this case, great music, played superbly.

We should reach out to all things that are great here — the symphony, so close, among them.

 

See also: Event links Motiva, museum, symphony