New West Alabama Symphony to Perform First Concerts

Published 10:45 am Tuesday, October 25, 2022

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The recently founded West Alabama Chamber Symphony (WACS) will enchant with a musical ride into the  Christmas season. The symphony’s “Southern Sleigh Ride” concert encompasses classical thrill-rides, like  Prokofiev’s “Troika” (Sleigh), and familiar holiday favorites. The ensemble will perform first as a part of the  University of West Alabama’s Night of Christmas celebration on November 29 at 7 p.m. in the UWA  auditorium. The symphony will also kick off Demopolis’ Christmas on the River celebration with a  performance at the Demopolis High School on November 30 at 7 p.m. Both performances are free and open  to the public.

Created by a partnership between the Sumter County Fine Arts Council and UWA, the West Alabama  Chamber Symphony seeks to cultivate musical artistry in the region. The symphony’s two Christmas concerts will involve UWA Music faculty, the UWA Choral Union, the University Charter School Singers,  the Demopolis High School Singers, and the community in a holiday sing along!

“We need an artistic vehicle that will plow and till the musical soil of Sumter County and produce a crop of  enduring hands-on musical experiences,” said Artistic Director Dr. Christopher Shelt, a driving force behind  the symphony. Shelt believes West Alabama needs local music groups in addition to ensembles that come,  perform, and leave, “We need a culture of music making here, not just music taking.”

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The West Alabama Chamber Symphony’s Christmas concerts will also feature Hugo Kauder’s “Oboe  Concerto,” which has never before been performed in the Southeastern United States. World-class oboist and Chair of the UWA Fine Arts Faculty Dr. Erik Larson will perform the concerto, and Larson is excited to  be involved with the symphony and West Alabama music history, “UWA’s partnership with the Sumter  County Fine Arts Council will be strengthened through this endeavor, and it will begin a new chapter for the  arts in our area.”

The birth of the West Alabama Chamber Symphony will prove to be a landmark event for Sumter County  and for West Alabama. Expect two extraordinary concerts! And expect that you will probably know or be  related to one or more of the performers!

For more information contact: 

Eleanor Boudreau (Director of Community Relations for the Sumter County Fine Arts Council) Email:

Cell: (617) 785-6390