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Market Watch

Classical Music Prevails

Posted on October 24, 2016

When you imagine the arts scene in a community, it can range from music venues to art galleries to live theater. Southwest Montana is beyond blessed to have an astonishing amount of talent and support for the arts as a whole, with much emphasis on classical music and theater. 

The Bozeman Symphony and Symphonic Choir were established in 1968 and continue with the following mission "dedicated to preserving musical excellence as a living part of our community, now and for future generations, through live performance, education, and community partnerships, while maintaining a vigilant devotion to artistic and fiscal integrity."  Matthew Savery has been the music director & conductor and solid presence with the symphony since he moved to Bozeman in 1994. As a testament to the quality of his chosen profession, Savery had the opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall last year. Christopher Freeze has recently accepted the position of Executive Director of the symphony and he is warmly welcomed to both the organization and the community. Currently, in the 49th concert season, upcoming performances at the Willson Auditorium include Sinfonia Concertante on October 29th and 30th and Holiday Collage on December 10th and 11th.

Intermountain Opera Bozeman began with a spark in 1978 by Verity Bostick who was both a singer and assistant music professor at MSU. The first performance, Verdi's La Traviata, was held the following spring, and the local opera scene has flourished ever since. Performances occur twice each year with attendees traveling from near and far to enjoy the intimate productions. There is plenty of time to put Tosca on your calendar for shows in May.

The Montana Ballet Company came to be in 1984 and has shown tremendous growth since that time. Classical ballets such as the annual Nutcracker performance are accompanied by original works and collaborations with infinite talent. Young dancers can begin ballet school at the Academy starting at 3 years old until they are pre-professional. The next upcoming performance is The Nutcracker which this year runs December 2nd, 3rd, and 4th.

The Shane Center in Livingston is a fabulous display of community theatre showcasing local talent. Plays and musicals run year-round with the next production featuring Macbeth. The Warren Miller Performing Arts Center in Big Sky offers yet another venue for both local talent and an astonishing 9-Event Winter Season that correlates with the peak ski season. The list of area venues could most certainly go on and on.

For those who are deeply engaged in the arts, it may seem natural that the National Endowment of the Arts has published a report indicating that Montana ranks very high when it comes to art participation by state. Looking at the statistics for adults per capita, Montana makes the top 10 list for the categories of attending a live art performance or movie; performing or creating art; visiting a historic site; attending live music; reading literature; and attending art exhibits. According to the Montana Arts Council (MAC), there are at least 559 arts organizations throughout the state. Performances such as Montana Shakespeare in the Parks reach large crowds as they tour throughout the state. Towns of all sizes feature museums and art galleries. Additionally, according to MAC director Arlynn Fishbaugh, "One out of every sixty people in Montana's labor market is a working artist." This figure comes from the Montana Department of Labor report which shows considerable growth in the industry. When the art community shows such strength, people who may be intimidated to make a career in art will be encouraged instead.

How fortunate we are to be surrounded by natural and created beauty each and every day.

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