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Kiev Symphony Orchestra, Chorus perform to benefit School of Music

Oct. 19, 2000

Physicians pool funds for concert

By ROBERT STONE

Reporter

The Kiev Symphony Orchestra and Chorus will perform at 8 p.m. today and Friday in Jones Concert Hall in the McCrary Music Building.

For 10 local Christian doctors, the concerts are an 18-month-old dream come true. Last March, a small group of Waco physicians visited the Ukraine for the first time as part of a mission trip called the Waco-Kiev Medical Exchange.

At the end of the trip, Dr. Scott Livesay met the orchestra's American conductor, Roger McMurrin, who visited Kiev in 1992 to direct Handel's Messiah with 35 professional musicians and a hired state orchestra. The response to the performance was overwhelming.

'All I could see was light,' said Edward Senko, professor of orchestral conducting at the Kiev Conservatory. 'And I knew I had to be near that light.'

McMurrin and his wife Diane then decided to sell their home in Florida and move to Kiev. The McMurrins founded the orchestra in 1993, and the group has toured the United States twice in the past four years.

Upon his return to Waco, Livesay approached Baylor President Robert B. Sloan Jr. with a request to let the Kiev Orchestra perform on campus.

A year and a half later, the orchestra is in town, and the doctors from the medical exchange have pooled their money to underwrite the costs of the concerts.

In addition, 80 Waco families are housing and feeding the 175 musicians.

The program, entitled 'From Sea to Shining Sea,' is a blend of serious and folk music from American and Ukrainian composers.

Selections include excerpts from Romeo and Juliet and Alexander Nevsky by Prokofiev, arias from the Russian/Ukrainian repertoire, Ukrainian classics by Bortniansky and Rachmaninoff and songs from Gershwin, Bernstein and Berlin.

'I hope some of the students will stick around to attend,' Livesay said in reference to Friday's cancelled classes for the Fall Break.

Tickets are $25 for general admission. Since the orchestra's expenses are already covered, the concerts will benefit scholarships for Baylor School of Music students.

'All proceeds go to the scholarship fund,' concert and promotions manager Dick Veit said.

On-campus tickets are available at the Bill Daniel Student Center ticket office, 710-3210 (cash, checks and credit cards accepted), 200 Roxy Grove Hall, 710-3991, and at the door for each concert.

Off-campus ticket centers are the American Bank of Waco near Richland Mall, the First National Bank of Central Texas, Holze Music Company and First Baptist Church of Waco.