Methodist University and the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra announced Saturday night they are formalizing their partnership with an agreement that will be mutually beneficial to both organizations and the entire Fayetteville community. Methodist University will now be known as the official “home” of the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra. The announcement was made Saturday before the Symphony performance in Huff Concert Hall on the University campus.
“Great communities are not only comprised of great people, but also of great institutions and organizations that share a common goal of making this a wonderful place to live,” said Dr. Ben Hancock, president of Methodist University. “We are excited about this expanded partnership with the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra and the opportunities we will have through the planned development of the Linda and Ralph Huff Concert Hall. The best in the arts and what we can jointly provide for our community are yet to be!”
Chris Kastner, President/CEO of the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra, stated, “Methodist University has long been supportive of the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra by providing a place for performances, rehearsals, and storage of instruments. This expanded partnership gives us the reassurance and peace of mind that the Symphony has a place to call home and a committed partner in Methodist University.”
Kastner, along with Fouad Fakhouri, Music Director, and members of the Symphony board of directors, have met with University officials and architects to review the building plans and review the needs of the Symphony in regards to the upcoming renovations of Huff Concert Hall.
“We were excited to have the opportunity to meet with the architect and sound experts to weigh in on the design of the facility and together design a state-of-the-art performance center that will benefit the entire community for many years,” stated Kastner.
Linda Huff, an alumna of Methodist University, is also a member of both the University board of trustees and the Symphony board of directors, and the lead donor for Huff Concert Hall.
“This partnership is a win-win for both organizations and our community,” Huff said. “I’m pleased to see two organizations that are so close to my heart collaborate on a performing arts center that will benefit the campus and the entire community for many years.”
With both organizations being founded in Fayetteville in 1956, the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra and Methodist University have almost 60 years of association together with a common mission of serving and educating the greater Fayetteville community. Their mission statements use similar language which underscores their shared heritage and purpose. The FSO seeks “To Educate. To Entertain. To Inspire.” Methodist seeks to “Engage. Enrich. Empower.”
The partnership agreement between the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra and Methodist University calls for the Symphony to hold the majority of its concerts at Methodist University. It also calls for close collaboration between the artists and staff of the FSO with the University faculty and staff, including the MU Music Department and the development of increased opportunities for visiting artists, internships and other experiences that would benefit both organizations.