The smell of rosin in the air, musicians tuning their instruments, the "tap, tap, tap" of the baton.
Then in unison, the first note.
- July 1977
OUR CONDUCTOR - CURRENT
Wm. David Stufft has been the Conductor of the Symphony since 2001. He is also the former Chair of the Music Department at Toccoa Falls College. He initially joined the Symphony as a trumpet player and later led the percussion section before becoming the 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 creation of the Symphony was Mrs. Pinkie 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 Supervisior 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 sympohonic 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 extrodinary musical legacy for today and future generations.
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.