Marietta High may house Georgia Symphony
by Lindsay Field
August 20, 2013 12:06 AM | 3489 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A rendering of the proposed $9 million, 750-seat multi-purpose auditorium for Marietta High School. <br> Photo special to the MDJ
A rendering of the proposed $9 million, 750-seat multi-purpose auditorium for Marietta High School.
Photo special to the MDJ
MARIETTA — The Georgia Symphony Orchestra, which has called Kennesaw-based Mount Paran Christian School home since 2006, could be moving its operations into an office in Marietta High School’s new auditorium.

The City of Marietta Board of Education tonight will consider approving a contract to present to the Cobb-based symphony so that it could eventually be moved to the Marietta Performing Arts Center at the start of the 2014-15 school year.

Marietta High School Band and Arts Director David DuBose said the agreement that will be presented to the school board outlines use and costs of the auditorium to the Georgia Symphony Orchestra.

The proposed deal calls for the symphony to pay the district $1,000 for each concert in the theater and $2,240 a year to rehearse on site for a few hours every Sunday. The proposed agreement also calls for the symphony to provide music literature to the school and offer occasional master class programs to students.

DuBose said he’s excited about this opportunity for the arts program. He said it is something he and the auditorium committee, which was developed when building the facility, have been considering since the committee formed.

“We truly are coming up with what we want to propose to (the Georgia Symphony Orchestra) and how it best serves our students,” he said.

School Board Member Irene Berens, who also served on that committee, said it’s a “win-win” situation as far as she’s concerned, but said she will not be able to attend Tuesday night’s meeting due to a family obligation.

“Our school system has strong ties to our community and our community has strong ties to our schools and when we can work to the advantage to both, it’s a fantastic opportunity,” she said Monday. “Our kids will get professional instruction that could really benefit them.”

Board Chair Randy Weiner agreed.

“This partnership would be a welcomed, added strength to what we offer students at Marietta High School,” he said.

Between the high school’s band, choral, dance and drama programs, there are more than 800 students — of the school’s almost 2,000-student population — who are involved in arts classes at Marietta High.

Susan Stensland, the symphony’s executive director, said she too is looking forward to this partnership and being able to offer programs and services to the high school students.

“The school district knows that Georgia Symphony began here in Marietta,” she said. “It’s 63 years old, so it’s one of the oldest arts groups in the area and they were really wanting for this new performance hall to be a venue where quality fine art was presented.”

The symphony, which involves 1,000 musicians including the orchestra, jazz band, chorus and a youth choral program, is housed at the Murray Arts Center at Mount Paran Christian School off Stilesboro Road in Kennesaw.

Stensland said they have operated out of that office for seven years, and with the addition of Mount Paran Christian’s new programs and expansion of its high school, it is time for the orchestra to find a new home.

“We’re hoping to move the offices and everything over to Marietta High School, although we hope to maintain a close relationship with the Murray Arts Center and Mount Paran,” she said.

The Georgia Symphony Orchestra will be a part of Marietta High’s dedication ceremony of the new auditorium Sept. 7, where they will also honor 40-year Georgia Symphony supporter and 1952 Marietta High graduate Helen Lee Garner Mackey.

To learn more about the dedication ceremony or the Georgia Symphony, visit

The board meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. and will be in the Marietta City School board room at 250 Howard St. in Marietta. For a copy of the agenda, visit

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