Cherokee Symphony needs us all

Friday, February 17, 2017

After attending the Northern Festival of High School Honor Bands at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls on Saturday, we were a bit curious if Sunday’s performance by the Cherokee Symphony would “stack up” to the incredible talents displayed by Iowa’s best of the best high school students the day before at UNI.

Not to worry.

We sat in amazement once again as the 50-member Cherokee Symphony entertained and enraptured from the relished start to the rousing finish with unparalleled excellence under the direction of Maestro Ted Hallberg.

This annual mid-winter symphony program paid tribute to the arts of dance, literature, and paintings, and with just a few rehearsals, the dedicated musicians parlayed their incredible skills into a wondrous, melodic Sunday afternoon performace for the ages.

In all circles an acknowledged Northwest Iowa gem, the Cherokee Symphony has enthralled music lovers for 61 years and it is only becaise of its faithful musicians, volunteers, and supporters from near and far that such sustained excellence exists in Our Town.

Folks, the Cherokee Community Center Grand Room was only two-thirds full for Sunday’s performance. In the past, it’s often Standing Room Only as board members scranbled to spot chairs and more chairs as the crowds grew.

Not any more as many age out or sadly pass on, leaving us to wonder, who’s going to fill their seats? Who’s there to instill those skills and love of fine music in our kids who can then step up and step in to sustain this incredible musical history in Cherokee?

We politely beseech area high school band teachers to help light the fire under their students to maybe have them try out for the Cherokee Symphony when auditions are held. An influx of youth and their talents will do wonders for the Symphony and help draw parents, grandparents, and siblings into the seats to fill the house and enjoy such wondrous musical offerings three times each winter season.

Contact any Cherokee Symphony Asssociation member, or Chair Jim Mohn at 225-5893, or go to the website

The next performance is the “Young Artists” Concert Sunday, April 23, 4 p.m. in the Community Center.

Save the date. Let’s pack the place.