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Symphony in the Flint Hills concert to be at Butler County ranch

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, at 11:54 a.m.
  • Updated Thursday, June 26, 2014, at 12:37 p.m.

Next year’s Symphony in the Flint Hills concert will be closer to Wichita than it’s ever been – at a ranch in Butler County, organizers announced Wednesday.

“The site is stunning,” Christy Davis, director of Symphony in the Flint Hills, said of Rosalia Ranch in Rosalia. It is 12 1/2 miles east of El Dorado on Highway 54 and then two miles north on Rosalia Road.

“It’s pretty flat when you get on the site and pretty standard … and then drops off, and it’s just absolutely beautiful. We will be up on a ridge looking down on spectacular scenery.”

The in-demand summer concert that draws nature and music lovers from all over the region, and even the country, will be June 14. The 5,000 tickets always sell out. Another 1,000 people attend through premium patron packages.

The Kansas City Symphony performs the concert at sunset in a different location in the Flint Hills each year. This past summer it was in Fort Riley. This will be the first time that Butler County will host the event.

“El Dorado has been interested for a very long time,” Davis said, but the right site for the concert didn’t come up until the Gottsch Cattle Company, which owns the ranch, expressed interest.

“We’re excited” that the concert will be the closest that it’s ever been to Wichita, symphony spokesman Carrie Lindeman said. Davis said that 800 volunteers work the event, and “we would love to have folks from the Wichita area” among them next year.

The concert became an annual event in 2006, staged in pastures from Bazaar to Florence to Council Grove to Eskridge. In the first years, organizers had to seek out locations, but now communities and landowners ask to be considered, Davis said.

The vast majority of people who attend the concert come from Kansas, with many from the Kansas City, Topeka and Lawrence area, as well as from the southern reaches of the Flint Hills, Davis said. And a good number of other states are represented, she said; last year, one volunteer came from Colorado, and a couple from Germany attended.

As part of the event, “one of the things we try to do is feature the history and culture that’s very specific to that area,” Davis said, and that will be true of El Dorado and of Cassoday, which is also near Rosalia Ranch.

Tickets are $90 for adults and $50 for children under 12 and will go on sale at 10 a.m. April 5, online at kcsymphony.org or by phone at 816-471-0400.

For more information about the event, including getting on an e-mail list for future volunteer information, go to the website www.symphonyintheflinthills.org.

Reach Annie Calovich at 316-268-6596 or acalovich@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @anniecalovich.

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