News Column

Volunteers busy getting prairie ready for Symphony in the Flint Hills

June 12, 2014

By Shelby Reynolds, The Wichita Eagle

June 12--ROSALIA -- Symphony in the Flint Hills volunteers and patrons gathered under gray skies Thursday at the site of this year's ninth annual symphony concert at Rosalia Ranch.

Before Saturday, they will transform the tallgrass prairie in Butler County into a concert venue, which will host the Kansas City Symphony and an audience of more than 6,000 people.

"It's insane, really, that we're doing this," Symphony in the Flint Hills volunteer coordinator Sandy Dorsey said.

The Symphony in the Flint Hills is a nonprofit organization out of Cottonwood Falls, which organizes a symphony concert at different locations each summer. Its mission is to heighten appreciation and knowledge of the tallgrass prairie, Dorsey said, by bringing people to the hills to experience it first-hand.

Vendors from across Kansas provide generators, seats and even portable toilets. A vendor in Kansas City provides more than 10 white tents for the event.

Westar Energy's Green Team has been involved with the Symphony in the Flint Hills for many years, volunteering to help set up tables, fences and other equipment. Because the Green Team and the nonprofit organization share similar missions, it gets involved each year, said Ben Postlethwait, Green Team and sustainability coordinator.

"If all it was was a concert in the Flint Hills, we wouldn't help them," Postlethwait said. "We don't do music festivals. We don't work the Country Stampede.

"It's because it's not a music festival. It's about education."

Reach Shelby Reynolds at 316-268-6419 or Follow her on Twitter: @--shelbyreynolds.


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Source: Wichita Eagle (KS)

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