News Release: Springfield Symphony collaborates with SPS in a moving tribute to Springfield

Springfield Symphony Orchestra


Date:  February 12, 2020                                                                                                      Contact:  Lexi Locke

For Immediate Release                                                                                                       Phone:  417.864.6683

Photos Available Upon Request                                                                                           Cell:  417.860.9690

                                                                                                                                                           Fax:  417.864.8967


Springfield Symphony collaborates with SPS in a moving tribute to Springfield

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The Springfield Symphony looks to the great American landscape at its classical concert; American Pictures at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 15th.  The program will feature Aaron Copland’s Our Town, Dave and Chris Brubeck’s Ansel Adams: America, and Grammy-nominated violinist Tessa Lark on Michael Torke’s Sky – Concerto for Violin. The performance will take place at the Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts. 

“Our February concert entitled American Pictures is going to be an amazing evening of music and imagery of America,” Conductor Kyle Wiley Pickett explained. “On this concert we are performing two pieces that will be accompanied by a film of photographs to illustrate the music. The first is called Ansel Adams: America, written by the great jazz legend Dave Brubeck and his son, composer Chris Brubeck. Our second film is to the music of Aaron Copland’s Our Town and it will feature photographs taken and submitted by Springfield Public Schools students of people and places around Springfield. The Springfield Symphony teamed up with the Phelps Center for Gifted Education to gather these photographs. We are very excited to show this charming and heartwarming look at Springfield through the eyes of its young people.”

The Phelps Center for Gifted Education has provided gifted students a challenging and appropriate educational experience for over 40 years by identifying and addressing academic and social needs and to ensure students reach their full potential. Debbie Nesbitt, Scholars Liaison at the Phelps Center for Gifted Education, spoke more in depth about the collaboration. “When Kyle came to Dr. Lenae Lazzelle [Director of Gifted Education] and myself, he thought that this would be a wonderful project for the Symphony and the gifted program to tag team. He asked if we would like to get involved, and we put the information out to the teachers and staff at our Wings and Scholars programs. Creative arts students were so excited to submit the photos and it has been a wonderful opportunity for the students to express their town through the Symphony.”

As of the importance and impact of The Phelps Center in Springfield, Nesbitt remarked “We have a lot of students involved [with our programs] from all over the city of Springfield from varying socio-economic backgrounds, and students that have special needs but who are also gifted. I know from experience with the full-time program, the Phelps Center oversees gifted students from sixth grade and all the way to their high school graduation, and many [students] say that it has been a tremendous impact on their lives to be a part of this program.”

To learn more about this SPS collaboration and the Symphony’s American Pictures concert, join Pickett on Saturday, February 15th as delivers a pre-concert talk at 6:30 p.m. from the stage and pre-concert music will begin at 6:45 p.m.  Tickets are currently on sale at the Juanita K. Hammons Hall box office, and can be purchased by calling (417) 836-7678 or online at  Ticket prices range from $10 – $40 and discounts are available for students and seniors. The American Pictures concert is made possible through sponsors Reliable Superstore, Bryan Properties, Mediacom, and U.S. Bank Wealth Management.

The Springfield Symphony Orchestra is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation and an Equal Opportunity Employer. Additional funding for all Springfield Symphony Orchestra programming is provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.  For more information, visit or