Classical Music, Casual Fun

Associate Director Lynn Payette promises this year’s festival – with its signature international flare and local charm – will showcase unprecedented talent at unique venues throughout the Spa City.

By Jillian McGehee | Photography by Jeff Fuller-Freeman

With a tenure that spans two decades, the Hot Springs Music Festival welcomes more than 100 international musicians to the Spa City for an eclectic series of performances, open rehearsals and national radio broadcasts. Associate Director Lynn Payette promises this year’s festival – with its signature international flare and local charm – will not disappoint.

“We bring in world-class music performed by talented young musicians from around the world, along with their exceptional mentors and teachers,” Lynne explains. “Festival-goers can look forward to works by Berlioz, Respighi, Walton and Tchaikovsky, among many others. All rehearsals are free and open to the public. It’s casual, classical and fun.”

Lynn notes highlights include the Opening Fanfare on the terrace of the Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa on the first Sunday of the festival. The following day, patrons have an exclusive opportunity to experience an early rehearsal as Maestro Peter Bay leads the orchestra through Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet Suite No. 2.

As director of  the Festival Chorus, Lynn and the chorus join The Village Chorale for a special performance of Howard Hanson’s stirring Song of Democracy at Oaklawn Magnet School for a full orchestral concert.

The Hot Springs Music Festival pairs mentor musicians with apprentices – offering performance opportunities to pre-professional musicians, both national and international, as well as quality musical performances to the Hot Springs community. The mentor musicians, from renowned orchestras and choral ensembles, perform alongside the apprentices presenting a series of concerts and open rehearsals for patrons to enjoy. “The concept for this festival was unique at its founding and remains one of the few major classical music festivals that offers full instructional scholarships,” Lynn says.

Featuring diverse performance venues as well as a variety of art galleries, she adds, the rich culture throughout Hot Springs National Park provides a perfect landscape for the Hot Springs Music Festival. “Visitors are drawn here by the quality of music offered within this beautiful city. The apprentices and the mentors integrate into the Hot Springs community while they are here and those apprentices fortunate enough to return often cite how much they enjoy Hot Springs and how grateful they are for the appreciative audiences.”

Lynn’s love and appreciation for music is enduring. Even during the times when she thinks her life may be taking another direction, music remains a constant, she says. “I’ve been very fortunate to be a part of intensely rewarding situations as a performer, a conductor and a teacher. Music has been a lifeline for me, at times, which is perhaps why I am so passionate about connecting young children with music of quality and integrity; music, which can be their friend for life.”


Festival FACTS

Welcomes more than 100 international musicians

Attracted more than 10,000 patrons last year

PBS documentary The Sound of Dreams featured the festival

(and continues nationwide broadcast)

Inviting Arkansas

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