The smell of rosin in the air, musicians tuning their instruments, the "tap, tap, tap" of a baton. Then in unison...the
-July 12, 1977
leads a rehearsal
Our Conductor - Past
Archie Sharretts was the first Conductor of the Orchestra. At that time, he was also the Band Director of Stephens County High School. The Orchestra continued to grow during his tenure of close to 25 years. Dr. Sharretts is still active on the Symphony Board as Conductor Emeritus.
Our Conductor - Present David Stufft has been the Conductor of the Symphony since 2001. He is also the Chair of the Music Department at Toccoa Falls College. He initially joined the Symphony as a trumpet player and later led the percussion group before becoming Conductor. At each concert, Maestro Stufft shares with the audience special insights about each musical selection, further enhancing the concert experience.
The driving force behind the Symphony was Mrs. Pinkie Craft Ware, a Toccoa resident and music teacher. Mrs. Ware grew up in the local orphanage run by her parents. Throughout her life she was dedicated to the community and was extremely passionate about music. She was the State President of the Music Educators Association, the first Music Supervisor of the Stephens County School District and was active with many local choirs.
Mrs. Ware reveled in playing the violin and the viola, yet she found that local outlets where she could perform in front of an audience were limited. Moreover, she felt strongly that symphonic music would be a wonderful cultural offering for the community. So she embarked on a mission to gather musicians to join her orchestra. Evidently she was very convincing (some would say relentless) in her pursuit of musical talent and would not take "no" for an answer.
Through sheer determination and "guts", her vision became a reality and a small orchestra was formed, setting the stage for the full 50-plus member orchestra that we enjoy today.
Mrs. Ware was close to 100 years old when she passed, leaving an extraordinary musical legacy for today and for future generations.
T O C C O A
established in 1977