What better way to spend a summer evening in the Ozarks than listening? The night air is filled with chirpings, trills and croakings. At first it’s a ceaseless cacophony. Then, you really listen. You start to pick apart the separate calls. Now you can hear the deep brassy bellow of the bullfrog, calling five times in a row, then breaking briefly before his next exhalation. Next you zero in on the katydids. Their part sounds unmeasured, as the many insects rasp their wings together at their own pace. But for a moment their rhythms align and you can clearly hear the distinct “Katy did! Katy didn’t!” cadence. Now the gray treefrog joins in. It calls out in a sharp and bright trill. You listen as long as you can before the order you found dissolves again into its natural chaos.
If you’re yearning for more music in the Ozark air, with a greater variation in timbre and slightly more organization, you are in luck. The Taneycomo Festival Orchestra is in Branson, MO June 17 – July 1. In these two short weeks, TFO puts together TWO full symphony concerts, in a tremendous display of musical order from chaos. The first of these concerts will feature American and English music, including George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, and the final concert is made of music from Parisian Ballet, including the Suite from Igor Stravinsky’s masterwork The Firebird. AND, there are 12 other chamber concerts, from percussion ensemble, to string quartet and everything in between. You can find a full concert schedule at www.taneycomofestivalorchestra.org/concert-schedule. Each concert is absolutely free to attend, and the audience is strongly encouraged to feel right at home. No fancy attire, no stuffy rules. Just beautiful music filling the evening air.