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Local Rotary clubs help send students to hear orchestra
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All Warren County fourth-graders will be able to attend the 50th season of the Bryan Symphony Orchestra at Tennessee Tech in Cookeville thanks to McMinnville’s Noon and Breakfast Rotary clubs.
The Breakfast and Noon Rotary clubs had asked for donations to make the trips possible because they were unable to receive a grant which funded the trip last year.
Bill Zechman, Noon Rotary Club member, said Noon Rotary has agreed to pay the difference if all funds are not met. The clubs are however still asking for donations from the public to make the trip a possibility for area students.
The trip will take place Nov. 19 and will include all fourth-graders in the county, whether they attend public school, private school or are home-schooled.
Breakfast Rotary member Rachel Killebrew said the money will pay for close to 600 people, including students and chaperones, to have breakfast, tickets to the symphony and gasoline.
“The trip is very expensive when we pay for so many people to go. I believe Bill said that less than 8 percent of these students had ever seen a symphony before and many of those only saw one on TV,” said Killebrew.
Killebrew said students will be asked to write or draw pictures about their experiences at the symphony. “We will have winners in first, second and third place. The winners will also be invited to speak to the Rotary clubs,” said Killebrew.
The Bryan Symphony Orchestra is named after McMinnville’s own Charles Faulkner Bryan, who studied at the Nashville Conservatory of Music before being hired to run Tennessee Tech’s music division in 1935. He was the only music professor at the time. While at Tech, Bryan formed a student orchestra, other ensembles and directed the glee club and marching band.
Bryan was also the first Tennessee composer to win a Guggenheim fellowship. He died in 1955. A historical marker honoring him stands in front of Warren County Courthouse.
The orchestra will perform excerpts from classics, occasional pop movie soundracks, and Broadway musical tunes. The Rotary clubs are still asking the public to donate in order to help make this trip possible. Zechman has proposed two levels of donors, although he said any amount donated will be appreciated.
• $250 – corporate level donor
• $100 – individual level donor
 Checks may be written to the Rotary Club of McMinnville and can be mailed to P.O. Box 351, McMinnville, Tenn., 37111. For more information, contact Zechman at 473-6523.