Photography by Lori Sparkman Photography
Marque Haupert has a song in her soul. As an accomplished cellist, she performs with the Saline Symphony Orchestra, the Hot Springs Village Bella String Quartet and independently at events throughout the Spa City. Through the years, as her livelihood and adventures carried her across the country – from the Rocky Mountains to the sunny Florida coast – music has been a constant companion. Marque, with a host of other committed volunteers, is looking forward to the Hot Springs Music Festival 25th anniversary celebration next year.
She was introduced to the arts at an early age and Marque recalls being surrounded by music throughout her childhood. “My family has always been committed to arts, music and community; I clearly remember being entranced by Disney’s Fantasia and mimicking playing the violin with a book under my cheek and a ruler as the neck. I was a string player even back then!” She followed her passion to Truman State University and worked at the University of Denver for nearly two decades before a business venture brought her to Hot Springs.
“I landed happily in the Valley of the Vapors and soon discovered the Hot Springs Music Festival,” Marque explains. “I was so moved by the community of friends that came together to make the annual, two-week-long, classical music festival happen through their giving and volunteering.” With an unwavering devotion to music and the arts, Marque quickly realized her experience complemented the organization’s mission fulfillment work and, “knew the Hot Springs Music Festival was where I would dedicate my interests.”
With a tenure that spans more than two decades, the Hot Springs Music Festival welcomes more than 100 national and international musicians to the Spa City for an eclectic series of performances, open rehearsals and national radio broadcasts. It pairs mentor musicians with apprentices – offering opportunities to pre-professional musicians as well as quality productions to the Hot Springs community. The mentor musicians, from renowned orchestras and choral ensembles, share the spotlight with apprentices presenting a wide range of concerts for patrons to enjoy.
The rich culture throughout Hot Springs National Park, with its diverse venues and art galleries, provides a perfect landscape to celebrate the Hot Springs Music Festival. “It’s 14 days of exceptional performances around the city in churches, auditoriums and public spaces. Some of the more creative performances include motorcycles, opera and other multi-media sources.”
Festivities for the 25th anniversary commence next spring and already include an impressive repertoire. “We are one of the best kept secrets in Hot Springs. People have moved here for the water, the people and the arts culture. Culture abounds because of the dedicated community.”