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Orchestra to stage Mars Theatre benefit
08.21 Orchestra
The Effingham Community Orchestra will hold a Mars Theatre benefit concert on Sept. 20.

Mars Theatre Benefit

The Effingham Community Orchestra and the Springfield Revitalization Corporation will stage a benefit concert, with proceeds going toward the renovation of the Mars Theatre.

• When: Sept. 20, 3 p.m.

• Where: Effingham Board of Education Auditorium

• Tickets: $10

• Theme: Movie Theme Songs

The Effingham Community Orchestra and the Springfield Revitalization Corporation will hold an orchestral performance on Sept. 20 at 3 p.m. at the Board of Education Auditorium in Springfield with proceeds to benefit the Mars Theatre restoration efforts.

The theme for the afternoon’s performance will be “Movie Theme Songs” and will feature  musical scores from the 1930s up through the present day. Tickets will be $10, and the groups are hoping to sell more than 500 tickets in order to raise funds to help defray the costs of beginning renovations to the historic Mars Theatre building in downtown Springfield.

This kind of artistic cooperation is just what the SRC has in mind for the future of the Mars. According to SRC members, the Mars is to become a performing arts center for the county, working with and encouraging different types of arts groups within the area.  In the working plans for the renovation, the original performing stage will be enlarged to accommodate larger groups and performances.

And that’s just what the Effingham Community Orchestra has been hoping for.

Orchestra leader Andrea Huff said that it has been a challenge for the group to find suitable places to practice and to perform. She said the group has high hopes of being able to use the Mars for performances and for equipment storage space.  

“We’ve always had that dream of having something of our own in the community,” Huff said.

The orchestra numbers 47 players and is made up of high school students, senior citizens and everybody in between. The group, which secured its tax-exempt status in April, has worked with Effingham County Recreation and Parks to have a place to meet and practice. Huff said this has allowed them to open their concerts free to the public.

Other Mars fundraisers in the works are a bingo and spaghetti night and a car show in conjunction with the Effingham County Chamber of Commerce’s Holiday Classic event.  

For more information on the Effingham Community Orchestra, contact Huff at 772-6468. For more information on the Mars Theatre project, call Gussie Nease at 658-5053, and for SRC, contact Rickey Kicklighter at 661-2063.