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Akron Symphony celebrates 40 years performing at EJ Thomas Hall, with three UA stars

UPublish story by Joanne Green

On Saturday, October 12th at 8 pm, the Akron Symphony Orchestra will celebrate 40 years performing at EJ Thomas Hall with a collaboration that features three stars of The University of Akron’s School of Music. The concert takes place almost 40 years to the day of its first performance when the hall opened in 1973.

Akron Symphony Music Director Christopher Wilkins will lead the orchestra with UA Director of Orchestras, Guy Bordo making an appearance to conduct Brahms Academic Festival Overture. UA Professor of Clarinet and Akron Symphony principal clarinet, Kristina Belisle Jones will solo on Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra, “Collateral Damage,” written by UA Professor of Composition, Nik Resanovic. The concert will conclude with Ein Heldenleben (A Hero’s Life), featuring Akron Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster and UA Professor of Violin, Alan Bodman.

“I am truly looking forward to this Akron Symphony concert,” said Akron Symphony Orchestra concertmaster, Alan Bodman. “Not only will I have the pleasure of performing the dramatic and expressive violin solo part in the Strauss Ein Heldenleben with our wonderful orchestra and music director Chris Wilkins, but I will also share the spotlight with some of my outstanding colleagues in the University of Akron School of Music. This 40th Anniversary Concert is a great collaboration between two of Akron’s premiere musical institutions and promises to be a night to remember!”

"I am thrilled to be a part of this celebration and to have the opportunity to make music with the Akron Symphony Orchestra,” said Guy Victor Bordo, guest conductor and Director of Orchestras at The University of Akron. “Brahms’ Academic Festival Overture is a wonderful choice to open this concert. I appreciate the invitation from Christopher Wilkins, and I look forward to hearing the performance of the two exciting works that will follow."

“Our sense of family, commitment to excellence and rewarding repertoire overwhelm me with satisfaction when I perform with our great orchestra,” said principal clarinet, Kristina Belisle Jones. “I’m honored to be performing on this 40th anniversary concert program and working with such esteemed colleagues.”

Tickets are on sale starting at $25 with discounts for students seniors and groups of ten or more. Season tickets are also available for both the Classics and Pops Series, or create your own series with My Subscription. Tickets can be purchased through the Akron Symphony ticket office in-person or by calling 330-535-8131, online at, or by contacting the EJ Thomas Hall box office at 330-972-7570.

The Akron Symphony appreciates its sponsors, including Previews from the Podium sponsor Audio-Technia, media partners 89.7FM WKSU, Akron Life and Akron Beacon Journal/, and the Ohio Arts Council, which helps fund Akron Symphony concerts with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.

For more than 60 years, the Akron Symphony has been a driving musical force throughout the Greater Akron area. Widely recognized for musical excellence and performance versatility, the Akron Symphony Orchestra is committed to enhancing the quality of life in our community. The Akron Symphony is operated by the Greater Akron Musical Association, Inc. (GAMA), whose vision is to be embraced and sustained as a community treasure that provides a welcoming environment for all people to experience great music. GAMA’s vision is realized by operating the Akron Symphony Orchestra, Akron Youth Orchestras, Akron Symphony Chorus, Akron Symphony Guild, Gospel Meets Symphony Choir and numerous outreach and educational programs throughout the region.

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