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story.lead_photo.caption The Texarkana Symphony Orchestra performs its annual Christmas concert at the Perot Theatre. Photo by Submitted photo

TEXARKANA — As it is now with many fundraising events, the Texarkana Symphony Orchestra Annual Benefit Drawdown and Auction will be held online rather than in person.

The TSO will present the event Zoom-style on Thursday, Aug. 27, starting at 6 p.m. Participating in the drawdown and auction helps the TSO with the educational part of its mission, both with student outreach and with the Texarkana Youth Symphony Orchestra.

TSO Executive Director Andrew Clark said this fundraiser has been held for about a decade or more, typically in the spring. With a pandemic, the TSO pushed the event down the calendar.

"It goes to support mainly our education concerts and the TYSO, the youth symphony," Clark said. "We have, of course, like everything else had to postpone it. Then originally intended to have it in person, and then on the advice of a lot of different folks on our board decided to make it just a virtual event."

The auction part will be open to the general public with the website address to be shared on the TSO's Facebook page. Ticket buyers will also have access to an online link to see the drawing for a cash prize.

"The auction includes everything from experiences to items. Also this is where we sell access to the conductor and to experiences on stage, so when we can be back on stage this is the chance people get to sit up on stage during a performance, to have dinner with the conductor and that kind of thing," Clark said. "Those experiences are all part of the auction."

People who purchase a ticket for the drawdown will get information about how to participate in the Zoom meeting. They'll also have a chance to eat dinner during the drawdown, just as they would have in person.

"Typically we would serve dinner, and so instead of serving dinner that dinner has been catered the last few years by Twisted Fork," Clark said. "What we're doing instead is for every drawdown ticket purchased there's a $15 gift card that the purchaser gets from Twisted Fork for you to get carryout or whatever you'd like to do from Twisted Fork."

Tickets are $100 for one chance, $120 for two chances with a $5,000 cash prize to be won.

Get tickets via the TSO office (870-773-3401) or through a TSO board member. Contacting the TSO on its Facebook page is another way to get tickets.

Clark said there's a possibility TSO musicians may perform a couple of pieces during the drawdown presentation. If that occurs, then the TSO will likely make the drawdown accessible for the entire general public, the TSO director said.

Announcements about the drawdown and auction will be made at the TSO's page on Facebook: Facebook.com/texarkanasymphony.

The TSO aims to open the season with the November "Happy Birthday, Ludwig!" concert. A celebrity conductor competition is also planned with competitors to be announced at the end of September or beginning of October.

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