COLUMBIA — While Columbia rolls out the red carpet for the True/False Film Festival this weekend, a different festival is in its planning stages. Hot Summer Nights, a classical music event stretching from June 11 to July 9, will return to the Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts.
The announcement was made on Monday by Kirk Trevor, music director and conductor of the Missouri Symphony, at an annual meeting of the Membership of the Missouri Symphony Society.
Last summer, Hot Summer Nights was canceled because of a rough economy and debt from renovations. Instead of the festival, the theater hosted a Patriotic Pops concert that was nearly sold out.
"Taking a year off really showed that our supporters really cared about bringing it back," said Trevor.
He said he wrote the budgets for Hot Summer Nights in October and November. They were approved in January.
The biggest issue this year has been raising enough money to reach their target goal of $96,000, Trevor said.
Part of that problem has been planning for the event without professional help. Through the course of last year, all of the theater employees were laid off, which resulted in a heavy reliance on volunteers to get Hot Summer Nights off the ground.
Of that target goal:
- More than half of the amount has already been raised.
- 70 percent of the money raised will cover the 2011 festival.
- It has paid for a greater proportion of the festival than ever before.
This year, Hot Summer Nights will showcase nine major concerts with orchestras from across the country.
In addition to the concerts, there will be a number of performances including 10-year-old piano prodigy Umi, electric violinist Drew Tretick, a new Broadway revue show and performances of Romeo and Juliet and Bolero, among others by the Missouri Symphony.
For those who might not be interested in these performances, Trevor urges them to reconsider. "The festival is for all types of people. Symphonic music includes the Beatles and Bacharach as much as it does Beethoven."
Trevor said he hopes the festival will serve as a jump-start for the theater and ensures the longevity of Hot Summer Nights.
"The batteries have been dead, but the car works great," Trevor said. "We just need someone to come in with a pair of jumper cables. And we're hoping that this festival is the jumper cables."