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Hays Symphony envisions an exciting season
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HAYS – The orchestra is about to open the new season with a new name, new conductor and a new theme. 

The Hays Symphony Orchestra is now the Hays Symphony, and the conductor will be Dr. Brian Buckstead. 

Dr. Buckstead has a thriving career as a performing artist, conductor and educator; his knowledge of orchestral literature is impressive. He has performed as violin or viola soloist with ensembles throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia, and also has a number of recordings. He is well known as a conductor in the upper Midwest and Canada and comes to Fort Hays State University from the University of Minnesota-Duluth. This season’s theme, “Symphonic Visions,” promises to be as delightful and exciting as in years past. 

Rossini’s “William Tell Overture,” with its thunderstorm and chase, will formally open the season in FHSU’s Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21. 

The Children’s Halloween Concert, at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27, in Beach/Schmidt, will envision what it might be like to have Beethoven as one’s upstairs neighbor. 

As ever, the Basilica of St. Fidelis Catholic Church in Victoria will supply its own imagery for the annual Cathedral Concert at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8. The magical combination of the Basilica plus the glorious Christmas music of several ensembles never fails to enchant its audience. 

Spring 2020 will bring three more events guaranteed to cast concertgoers young and old into a state of bliss – the annual Valentine’s concert, the Cottonwood Festival, and the Masterworks Symphony and Choir shared concert. The Valentine’s Concert, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, in Beach/Schmidt, will feature both classical music and romantic themes from the movies. 

The date is yet to be determined for the Cottonwood Festival, a three-day celebration of chamber music. Guest artists collaborate with Department of Music faculty and students in rehearsals, master classes and concerts. 

The Masterworks symphony will be at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 2, in Beach/Schmidt. The orchestral work will be “Symphonie Fantastique” by Berlioz. The choral work has not been announced. 

All Hays Symphony performances are free. Tickets can be reserved online at In addition, tickets may be picked up at the Hays Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Downtown Hays Development Corporation, 1200 Main, one week in advance of the concert or in the lobby 30 minutes before the concert starts. 

Check the Hays Symphony Facebook page for additional concert details such as pre-concert talks and post-concert receptions.