Music: Culture in Kansas

With wild hopes but grave doubts, seven musicians gathered in Wichita, Kans. and laid plans to start a symphony orchestra. From the employees of Wichita's aircraft builders (Boeing, Beech) and the friendly musicians' union local, they managed to collect $300. They wrote letters to some 70 other musicians in nearby towns, asking them to play the first year without pay. The infant orchestra rehearsed in a hotel ballroom, where the players had to sweep the floor themselves. That was eleven years ago. Today, the Wichita Symphony has an $80,000 yearly budget and not even the local baseball club, the Wichita Indians,...

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