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Jeff Madlock with the Marshall Symphony Orchestra tunes up his bass before a concert in downtown Marshall in May.

The Marshall Symphony and the Marshall Symphony League are preparing for a special year, with the opening of the 70th season of music making planned to kick off this weekend with a performance at the Baker Auditorium at East Texas Baptist University.

The performance will be at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 25, and the opening concert is dedicated to the music of the great Romantic composer Tchaikovsky, according to director Kermit Poling.

The group’s first performance of the season will feature piano prodigy piano prodigy Antonio (‘Nio) Ajero as soloist.

“This is such a joyous and wonderful way to start off our 70th year. And I’m particularly excited to include ‘Nio along with the orchestra,” Poling said, “This amazing, award-winning pianist has made strides throughout the country and, indeed, the world. This is a terrific opportunity to hear unusual mastery, and I think everyone who knows a young person that might be interested in music, needs to bring that person to this concert.”

Ajero will perform Tchaikovksy’s first piano concert during Saturday’s show, with other music, including pieces from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, planned for the performance.

Ajero is a 17-year-old pianist who, according to Poling, has performed with the symphony before. Ajero is a three-time National Gold Medal Winner from The Royal Conservatory, earning the highest marks in the United States for their Level 9, Level 10, and ARCT Piano Exams.

He was also selected as a winner in the 2020 YoungArts Competition for excellence in the field of classical music, along with numerous other awards and recognitions.

Community members who are interested in attending the concert can purchase tickets are $30 in advance or $35 at the door.

Students under 12 can attend free of charge, and other student tickets are only $10. Tickets and Information about this concert, as well as other performances by the Marshall Symphony Orchestra are available at www.marshallsymphony.com.

Season Plans

The Marshall Symphony and Symphony League have a number of other planned events as they kick off the new season this weekend.

In October, the West Edge Quartet will perform Nosferatu, along with the silent film at Memorial City Hall on Saturday, Oct. 30. On Nov. 20 the organization will perform again at Memorial City Hall, performing American Landscapes at 7 p.m.

Tiffany Ammerman, with the organization, said that the Marshall Symphony League has big plans for the 2022 season as well, with a goal to help the organizations endowment reach $1 million.

In search of that goal, the group will host three “mystery events” in 2022, with the first, a murder mystery brunch, planned for Jan. 8 at Enoch Stomp Vineyard and Winery.

A “decades of mystery and mastery” dinner party is also planned on Feb. 12 to benefit the endowment fund. The event will feature Pete’s Dueling Pianos, dinner, costumes and entertainment throughout the night.

Ammerman said that community members are encouraged to dress in any decade that they like to come and enjoy the party, with the location kept secret right now.

The third of the new events is planned for June 2022, with a Dinner en Blanc with a mystery location and entertainment planned for June 4.

This is the first time that the Marshall Symphony League has held any of these events, and Ammerman said that the organization is excited to feature the new fundraisers.

“We wanted to try a few fun and different things,” she said. “We’re excited for the new season.”

The Marshall Symphony has a number of additional events planned for the year, with the annual Voices 3.0 concert competition series planned to kick off on May 11 and run through the 14.

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