Hays Symphony Orchestra hosts third annual Halloween party and concert at Beach/Schmidt


By Ruth Firestone
Hays music lover
HAYS, Kan. – A gala treat is in store for all who love to celebrate Halloween with music, theatre, parades, costumes and fun. And it’s all free and open to the public. The third annual Hays Symphony Orchestra Halloween party and concert for children will happen Sunday, Oct. 28, in and around the FHSU Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center. 

The main attraction, which will begin at 3 p.m., is “The Firebird,” a ballet and orchestral composition by Igor Stravinsky, conducted by Shah Sadikov, assistant professor of music and theatre. Nationally-recognized playwright Catherine Trieschmann has provided a children’s adaptation of the Russian folktales on which the ballet is based. Erin Renard directs the production and Alyssa Dechant serves as choreographer, with costumes by Sasha Hildebrand.

Brenda Meder, Hays Arts Council director, narrates the story, which is set in the dark forests of Russia. Prince Ivan fights the evil sorcerer Koschei, played by Everett Robert, with the help of the magical Firebird, danced by Brooke Raacke, to free the enchanted animals and princesses, played by area youth and adult actors and dancers.  

Festivities will begin at 2 p.m. with family-fun activities including an instrument petting zoo, a Russian folktale story time, drumming circle, a Firebird mask craft, and a Halloween costume parade for all ages. Guests are encouraged to come early wearing their costumes. 

Many sponsors have made this gala possible through their generosity, including grants and support from the Dane G. Hansen Community Grant Fund; the Heartland Community Foundation; the Hays Symphony Guild; The Hays Arts Council; Smoky Hills Public TV; the FHSU student chapter of the National Association for Music Education; Redeem Designs; and McDonald’s of Hays.

Also, special thanks to Keith and Sandra Gottschalk for providing the free trick-or-treat bags for the first 300 children.

You can reserve free tickets online through the new HSO website at hayssymphony.org or pick them up at the Hays Convention and Visitors Bureau or the Downtown Hays Development Corporation offices. The symphony is also selling Firebird T-shirts, available for advance order at its website.

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