When Twin Falls celebrated the Magic Valley Symphony’s 50th anniversary during their 2009-2010 concert season, they weren't just celebrating 50 years of music.
They also celebrated 50 years of ingenuity, dedication and good old-fashioned hard work.
Creating the Symphony
“Twin Falls is a long way from anywhere,” says Paula Sinclair, a French horn player and publicist for the symphony. “From the very beginning, back when distance really was a huge factor, the people that settled in Twin Falls realized that if they were going to have some of the things that they were accustomed to, they were simply going to have to create it in Twin Falls.”
A small band of musically inclined pioneers gathered at the edge of civilization to fill the cultural hole in their isolated town, and the fruit of their efforts was the Magic Valley Symphony’s inaugural performance in the fall of 1959.
The Symphony Today
Today, the symphony of roughly 45 musicians plays four concerts each year. They don’t play for money but simply for the love of music. Everyone who lifts a bow or blows into a woodwind is a volunteer. Teachers, insurance agents, retirees and salesmen populate the concert stage, but the music isn’t any less professional – or popular – for the lack of full-time musicians.
“Here we are, in a small town on the remote high desert, and we get together to play Beethoven and Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff,” says Sinclair, who has a day job as an attorney. “We play almost everything in the classical repertoire.”
The symphony’s only employee is director Theodore Anchor Hadley, who has held the position of leadership for roughly 18 years. The 50th anniversary concert season featured a performance with Allen and Laura Vizzutti, daughter and son-in-law of one of the symphony’s founders, as special guests. The performance was a nod to the cooperation that birthed the music in the first place.
“It takes a whole community to support a symphony,” Sinclair says. “Pride doesn’t begin to capture the spirit of the sense of accomplishment of coming together to perform really good music.”
Learn more about the arts in Twin Falls, ID.