From left to right in the picture:

Kim Kirby, School Board chairperson; Jim Pitts, Kiwanis member; Wanda Pitts, Kiwanis member; Hossein Vahabzadeh, Kiwanis membership chairman; Superintendent Russell Hughes; Janine Strouse, Kiwanis Vice-President; Maurice Strouse, Kiwanis President

The Freeport-South Walton Kiwanis club recently made a very generous donation to support the 5th grade students of Walton County in their attendance at the annual 5th grade Symphony Concert presented by the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra.  For 30 years, the NFSO has provided free annual concerts at the Mattie Kelly Fine Arts Auditorium for Okaloosa & Walton county students with specialized youth oriented programming & teacher's curriculum.

This years concert featured the music of Johann Strauss, Smetana, Felix mendelssohn, and Benjamin Britten.  Maestro Jeffrey Rink began the concert with a demonstration of the musical instruments that make up the orchestra.  The orchestra was joined by student solo violinist Blake Richardson, and 8th grader from Maclay Middle School in Tallahassee, who was the winner of the Junior division of the NFSO Annual Concerto Competition.  The concert concluded with Britten's "The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra", which includes a narrator and an introduction to each family of the orchestra! 

The concert provides an opportunity for students from Walton County to experience a high level quality of music in one of the most acoustically and aesthetically satisfying performance venues in the South, the Mattie Kelly Fine Arts Complex, on the campus of Northwest Florida State College.  The Freeport- South Walton Kiwanis Club has graciously sponsored the students in this annual event for a number of years.  As a result of their sponsorship, over 700 Walton County School District students were impacted by the presentation this year! 

Submitted by Keitha Bledsoe