BJSO announces ‘Battle for the Baton’

BELOIT—What does it feel like to stand on a podium, raise a baton, and be totally responsible for the sounds resonating from violins, violas, cellos, trombones, flutes, clarinets, horns and tubas? As more than 60 individuals look to you for direction, you cue the strings, the brass, and then the percussion—striving for that perfect blend of harmony and intonation as you stand alone on that podium of power.

As part of a fund-raising event, local personalities will vie for an opportunity to conduct the Beloit Janesville Symphony Orchestra (BJSO) in the first-ever “Battle for the Baton.” Popular vote will determine the winner, who will take the place of honor on the podium at the annual BJSO Pops concert on Feb. 7 – 8. The concert, titled “An American Music Showcase,” is guaranteed to have toes tapping and audiences humming along with their favorite American music.

Voting ballots are available at select locations throughout the stateline area or by calling the BJSO office at (608) 363-2554. Individual contestants will also be collecting votes at $1 each. Contestants include: Milly Babcock, Babcock Advertising; Jim Lyke, Forward Janesville; Martha Mitchell, Visit Beloit; Joe Stadelman, Angus Young Architects; Jim Tropp, Theatre Unlimited and board member of the Janesville Performing Arts Center; Tom Wolfe, Janesville School District and Johnson Bank; and Jackie Wood, owner, Olde Towne Mall and member of the Rock County Board of Supervisors.

Voting polls open Dec. 21, 2003, and close at the end of business on Jan. 31, 2004. Polling locations in Beloit are: Attic Quilts, First National Bank, M & I Banks (all locations), Visit Beloit, and the Beloit Chamber of Commerce. Polling locations in Janesville are: M & I Banks (all locations), Forward Janesville office, and Johnson Bank.

BJSO Executive Director Nancy Sonntag believes that local personalities will compete with one another with two goals in mind; To publicly show their support of the local music and arts organization of the BJSO and to “be the winner!” Anyone wishing to support this fund-raising event and these candidates can do so by sending a check to: BJSO, P.O. Box 185, Beloit, WI 53511, noting which candidate you would like to support.

BJSO Music Director Rob Tomaro is looking forward to “passing” his baton duties in February to any of the candidates and has generously offered to provide the winner with lunch and a lesson, where he will share some valuable tips on conducting. As the Beloit Janesville Symphony Orchestra continues to celebrate its 50th anniversary, Maestro Tomaro encourages concert-goers to come and witness history being made as the first winner of “The Battle for the Baton” conducts the BJSO in their commemorative Gala Golden Anniversary Season.

For more information on this fun-filled competition, to receive ballots, or perhaps cast your vote, please contact the Beloit Janesville Symphony Orchestra office at (608) 363-2554. Cast your vote now and show your support for your local Beloit Janesville Symphony Orchestra.

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