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Southern Crescent orchestras to perform season finale
Concert to benefit area food pantry

By Johnny Jackson

jjackson@henryherald.com

In its 17th season, the Southern Crescent Symphony Orchestra will join the Southern Crescent Youth Orchestra in presenting the symphony's annual spring concert.

The finale concert, "English Masterworks: Music from England," will include selections from Gustav Holst's "The Planets" as well as Ralph Vaughan-Williams' "English Folksong Suite," and Edward Elgar's "Enigma Variations."

The orchestras will perform this weekend under the direction of conductor Richard Bell and assistant conductors Ed Davis and Karl Rieke.

The orchestras consists of professional musicians and music educators, as well as amateur musicians and students who begin their season each fall and perform around the Southern Crescent throughout the year.

Saturday's performance begins at 7:30 p.m., at the Clayton County Schools Performing Arts Center, 2530 Mt. Zion Road in Jonesboro. The orchestras will perform again at 3 p.m., Sunday, at the Henry County Schools Performing Arts Center, 37 Lemon Street in McDonough.

Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for seniors and students over 12 years old. Tickets are $5 for children between the ages 6 and 12, and children under 6 are admitted free. Tickets may be purchased at the door.

Concert organizers are also asking audience members to bring nonperishable food items to the concerts. The items will be donated to the non-profit Helping in His Name Ministries, Inc., which operates a food pantry in Stockbridge.

"That will benefit greatly, because we are limited to what we can buy at the food bank," said Nola Love, president of Helping in His Name. "We purchase an awful lot of food from the food bank. We've already spent $17,490 on food since January, and already we've had an increase in clientele since the first of the year."

Since January, the food pantry clientele has increased some 11 percent, Love said. Its clientele increased by more than 25 percent from 2007 to 2008, serving 35,407 people (representing 10,939 families) in 2008 alone, she added.

"Right now, we're serving an average of 60 families per day," Love said. "We also desperately need volunteers. But money and goods always benefit us. With this [benefit], we can provide a variety of foods to our families."

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On the net:

Southern Crescent Symphony

Orchestra: www.scsymphony.org

Helping in His Name Ministries:

www.helpinginhisname.org