The Early Years 1961 to 1969

In the winter of 1960, a group of people in North Platte met to discuss the feasibility of starting a regional orchestra to provide music to North Platte and the surrounding communities.  Response to the idea was overwhelming and the Sandhills Symphony Orchestra was formed.  The first concert for the group was performed in April of 1961.

The Symphony has operated for many years under a Board of Directors.  Although the members of the board change from year to year, they are able to provide consistant leadership within the group.  Below is the earliest picture of one of the boards.  In the picture are Kay Toillion (still a member and present concertmistress of the symphony) and Nora Watson (the woman who suggested the name “Sandhills Symphony” for the group).

A Fall Concert was performed in 1961, but the program has been lost.  Anyone with a copy of the program may submit it to the symphony archives.

The Sandhills Symphony Orchestra has always been a family-oriented group.  Mary Deutschmann and her father Mr.  V. R. Eychner played together in the orchestra for many years.  Mary lived in North Platte, while her father lived in Grand Island and traveled each week to practice and perform with the group.  He was only one of many musicians that traveled from outside of North Platte to play with the orchestra making it a truly regional symphony.

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