It was our great pleasure to be in the audience at the Windermere Theatre in Toyota Center on Saturday for the combined performance of the Mid-Columbia Symphony, Mid-Columbia Mastersingers, Yakima Symphony Chorus, Richland Children's Choir and Mid-Columbia Ballet.
Under the baton of music director Nicholas Wallin, more than 300 performers thrilled the audience with their interpretation of Carmina Burana. This was just one of many arts events, year-round, that demonstrate the need for a Performing Arts Center in the Tri-Cities.
This community has grown and diversified tremendously in the 20 years we have lived here. Facilities for sports events, conventions, trade shows and many other people-pleasing, crowd-drawing events are already well provided for here.
A gentle reminder, Toyota Center is a sports arena, and Windermere Theatre is configured out of the arena itself to provide a stage and seating. It's time to finally realize that the performing arts need their own home, with space enough for performers and audience and all that goes on behind the scenes.
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Offering everyone the opportunity to experience the arts is not a luxury, it is an absolute necessity. To judge by the enthusiastic, multi-age audience on Saturday evening, great numbers of local residents believe the same. Quoting Pablo Picasso, "Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."
Rebecca S. Hoffmann, Richland