When Paducah Symphony Orchestra director Daniel Sene took the job last year, the symphony’s board already had a plan in place for the organization’s first event. He told the board he would help in any way he could. Little did he know, that meant getting on stage and singing.
Sene is a member of “The Impromptus,” one of five a cappella groups performing at the Symphony’s Singoff at Harrah’s on Saturday. The competition — a fundraiser for the symphony — will allow each act to sing two songs and be judged by a panel of celebrity judges including singers Terry Mike Jeffrey and Miki Abraham and television personality Jennifer Horbelt.
“This is a first-time event, and everyone has put a lot of work into it,” Sene said. “We have about 250 reservations and close to 300 people coming, which is huge and really exciting.”
Along with the show, the night includes a sit-down dinner and a silent auction that features over 100 items that total $10,000 in value. Event chairman Kenn Gray said the event is geared toward the entire Paducah community but demonstrates the younger persona the Symphony has taken on in the past year.
“We have gotten younger board members and are really reaching out to the younger demographic,” Gray said. “We want to show them that the symphony isn’t just boring classical music. There’s more to it.”
Gray said the fundraising goal is $20,000. With budget and several educational outreach programs, Sene said the organization needs to bring in about $100,000 annually.
“I think there is this notion that when you give money to the symphony you are paying for people to sit at desks and plan shows at the Carson Center,” Gray said. “There is so much more to it. From a cultural aspect, the symphony is so important to this city. Last year we reached over 12,500 kids. That’s a number that not a lot of people know about.”
Call Corianne Egan, a Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8652 or follow @CoriEgan on Twitter.