After six weeks of stump speeches, photo ops and photo bombs, handshakes, hugs, baby-kisses, press conferences, fried chicken lunches, and grueling stops on the campaign trail, the three Jacksonville Symphony Society Superconductor candidates came to a strong finish with the announcement of Forrest Keaton, a Jacksonville attorney and father of three, as the 2013 Symphony Superconductor.
In his brief acceptance speech before raising his baton in front of the orchestra gathered in concert on December 14, 2013, Keaton acknowledged his fellow candidate/competitors: Sonie Smith and Allen “Ludwig” Stare. “There are really two clear winners of this competition,” Keaton informed the large audience assembled in the Illinois College Rammelkamp Chapel, “the Jacksonville Symphony and the Jacksonville community.” Keaton also acknowledged the good work of his campaign managers, Dick and Donna Cody. With finesse and command, Keaton turned to face and lead the musicians in several stanzas of “O Come All Ye Faithful,” a fitting selection given the faithful and generous support of so many who supported the Superconductor campaign.
Superconductor organizer Tim Chipman could not be more pleased with the strong coda of this campaign. “All three candidates demonstrated verve, gusto, and great style,” Chipman stated. “Amidst the fun of this Superconductor campaign, lies an important truth: every dollar raised sustains the life and artistic work of the Jacksonville Symphony for years to come.”
In January, the Symphony will offer two Youth Concerts in the MacMurray College Annie Merner Chapel. According to Chipman, the proceeds raised during the Superconductor campaign will be used to subsidize these concerts that are free to area youth. The Symphony will showcase the “Talent Among Us” on February 15, and the next seasonal concert offering, “A Legacy Showcasing New Talent,” will take place on Saturday, March 22.
“The Symphony is extremely grateful to this community for its support of the Superconductor campaign,” Chipman said. “Countless individuals and a number of service organizations and clubs cheered on this worthy endeavor.”
In 2013, the Jacksonville Symphony celebrated fifty years of musical excellence. For information about the Jacksonville Symphony, please visit www.jaxsym.com.