Ozark Outdoors

Jerry Hoover and the Firehouse Band Kicks-Off New First Friday Concert Series

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A couple of young guitar players practices on their new instruments made possible by Play It Forward SWMO.

A couple of young guitar players practices on their new instruments made possible by Play It Forward SWMO.

Springfield Art Museum, Southwest Missouri’s oldest cultural institution, founded in 1928 will join with with Play It Forward SWMO on Friday, Oct 7  for the newest in a series of First Friday concerts, featuring the incomparable Jerry Hoover and the Firehouse Band. The concert will begin at 7 p.m. in the museum’s auditorium. A $5 donation to Play It Forward SWMO covers admission to the concert. Admission to the Springfield Art Museum is free.

All donations benefit Play It Forward SWMO, whose mission is to provide quality musical instruments to music programs and individuals in our community that are most in need. In addition, funds raised are used to repair and refurbish donated instruments. This concert series was designed not only to increase awareness for Play It Forward SWMO’s programs, but to highlight the diverse talents of musicians throughout the area. A new musical guest, scheduled by Play It Forward SWMO’s Director Ruell Chappell, will be featured at each concert.

Ruell Chappell with guitars that will be distributed by Play It Forward SWMO.

Ruell Chappell with guitars that will be distributed by Play It Forward SWMO.

With generous support from Reliable Superstore, Car-Fi, and Panera Bread, guests of “Music, Art & Bagels” will enjoy complimentary snacks, free parking, a roaring evening of jazz and Dixieland favorites. The Art Walk Shuttle will then be available to ferry guests  to First Friday Art Walk locations around downtown Springfield.

Jerry Hoover recently retired as Director of Bands at Missouri State University and his Firehouse Band has delighted audiences around the country.

“We are extremely honored to have Mr. Hoover start off this new concert series,” notes Museum Director Nick Nelson. “His dedication to music and music education has made a tremendous impact on our region. Through collaborations like these with other arts organizations, we hope to carry a part of that progress forward to continue improving the landscape for the arts across southwest Missouri.”

The Springfield Art Museum is Springfield, Missouri’s oldest cultural institution, founded in 1928. A department of the City of Springfield, we are dedicated to enhancing the education and documenting the cultural heritage of the people of southwest Missouri through the collection, preservation, and exhibition of art objects. For more information, please visit www.sgfmuseum.org.

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

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