Meridian Star

May 7, 2013

Keeping the music alive

By Brian Livingston /
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     Sen. Terry Burton Monday morning announced the state Legislature has allocated $37,500 from the state's K-12 educational budget to the Meridian Symphony Orchestra.

    Burton, who represents District 31 in the state Senate and who is the vice chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said the funds were to further empower the organization to continue making a positive impact upon the

community and providing the youth and public with a quality source of wholesome and enlightening entertainment.

    "Not only has the orchestra maintained high professional standards by filling its roster with some of the most talented musicians in the country, it has gone

beyond the call of duty by sponsoring such events as Symphony Fun Fest, annual one-day workshops that introduces our youth to orchestral music, and teaches

them to appreciate this endearing art form that far too often goes overlooked for

its great educational value," Burton said. "In today’s time such an effort is to be commended."

    The Meridian Symphony Orchestra is beginning its 53rd year and Mark Altekruse, executive director of the Meridian Symphony Association, said the orchestra is poised to expand its events and programs.

    "We are thrilled with the news of this financial support from the state Legislature and Sen. Terry Burton," said Altekruse during a Monday press conference. "This will enable us to continue to build on our popular music education programs in addition to expanding our offerings of marvelous classical and pops concerts."

    Burton said this funding was from money returned to the general fund that was not used by the Department of Education. He stressed this was not taken from education but rather was money not used.

    "In a way this funding still stays in education because the Meridian Symphony does so much work to use its programs toward exposing young people to music," Burton said.