The Jackson Symphony Orchestra has entertained the community for 61 years by making do with what they had, and never having a set home. In 2007, that changed when Comerica gave them a vacant building in downtown Jackson which was formerly a JCPenny's.
But JSO Director of 34 years Stephen Osmond says the gift came at a tough economical time; cuts were being made to education of the arts and musical programs were among the first to feel the effects.
Despite that, the community of Jackson rallied. We had great leadership and people raising the money that opened up their hearts as well as their pocket books and achieved our goal," explained Osmond.
Businesses and philanthropists donated a total of $4.2 million, making the new music hall what Osmond calls, one of the finest acoustically engineered in the state. The money also went toward building classrooms where JSO members will offer private lessons at affordable rates.
Representative Time Walberg believes the music hall's success is a sign that Jackson is making a comeback: "It's amazing what a local community can do when they believe in each other and decide if the government stays out of our way, if they’re causing us problems in other areas, we're still gonna get it done."
And with a few snips of a ribbon, the five years of fundraising cane to an end, and a bright future of education began.