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Several opportunities to enjoy the Taneycomo Festival Orchestra

With a mission to provide free classical music concerts and educational programs that serve the central Ozarks, the Taneycomo Festival Orchestra is in the midst of its 13th season of performances in Branson.


The Taneycomo Festival Orchestra was the idea of Larkin Sanders, a local musician, who was inspired to create the TFO after spending a couple of weeks with Chamber Music Midwest, a music festival in Wisconsin. Sanders came away with a desire to make classical music affordable, accessible and appealing to those in the Ozarks.


On the TFO website, Sanders says, "It's obvious that the classical music world is suffering. In my opinion this is due to the high prices of concert tickets and the extremely high expectations that the performers place on their audience members. An audience member is required to dress in one's finest attire, spend a fortune on admission and follow some very confusing rules regarding applause and behavior. This makes classical music inaccessible and unappealing to the average American person. I believe that one should be able to enjoy classical music simply because it is beautiful. One should not have to worry about rules, dress and financial obligations to enjoy the music."


With that in mind, the TFO was created. A nonprofit organization, the Taneycomo Festival Orchestra brings together musicians from around the world. Each summer, up to 100 musicians converge on Branson for the purpose of learning, expanding their networks and making music. The performers are provided with free lodging from host families and meals, as well as professional development seminars during their time in Branson. The Taneycomo Festival Orchestra does not charge for performances, but relies on individual donations and in-kind donations to continue their endeavors.


Those making music as part of the Taneycomo Festival Orchestra are truly gifted performers. Players in the Taneycomo Festival Orchestra include both students and professionals. TFO alumni have gone on to perform in such prestigious ensembles as the New World Symphony, the Atlanta Symphony, the Kansas City Symphony and more.


There are still several opportunities to catch a performance of the Taneycomo Festival Orchestra this season.


Some members of the TFO will be at the Turkey Creek Brewery on Thursday, June 20, at 6:30 p.m., with a performance entitled Suds and Sonatas.


On June 26, Music by Living Composers will be presented at the Fellowship at Cross Creek. The performance begins at 7:30 p.m.


The following evening, June 27, enjoy Our Favorite Pieces, also at the Fellowship at Cross Creek.


There will be two opportunities to enjoy the Taneycomo Festival Orchestra at the Hollister High School, Friday, June 21, at 7:30 p.m.; and Friday, June 28, also at 7:30 p.m.


Said Sanders on the TFO website, "I want the audience members at TFO concerts to feel comfortable in their own skin. Wear your blue jeans. Clap for something when you are moved. If the music soothes you to a point of sleepiness, then take a nap. Most of all, though, enjoy the music because it is beautiful—not because you feel that you must!"


For more information on the TFO, visit their website,


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