Fort Smith Symphony, Mercy partner for second annual concert series

A holiday season musical partnership between Mercy and the Fort Smith Symphony will return in December with 11 free concerts on the Mercy Hospital Fort Smith campus.

The second annual “Sacred Sounds at Mercy” concert series performances will begin at 10 a.m. and last about 1½ hours. Monday and Wednesday performances will be in Mercy Medical Building’s main entrance off Rogers Avenue. Tuesday and Thursday performances will be at Mercy Tower West, 6801 Rogers Ave.

John Jeter, music director and conductor of the Fort Smith Symphony, emphasized that the string and woodwind musicians’ performances will be as pleasing to listen to as they will be therapeutic for the soul.

“Everyone loves music, and one of the reasons is that music speaks to us on so many levels,” Jeter said. “In addition to the beauty and joy that music brings us, scientific studies continue to show that music can contribute to positive health, balance and well-being.”

It’s important to Mercy that the public have access to the music free of charge, said Father Paul Fetsko, director of ethics for Mercy Fort Smith.

“It seems clear that Mercy Hospital should partner with the Fort Smith Symphony to bring the soothing power of live music to its patients, visitors and co-workers this time of year,” Fetsko said. “These performances are not necessarily concerts in the traditional sense but more of an opportunity to create an atmosphere of balance and healing through live music.”

Here’s the schedule for symphony musicians and others affiliated with the symphony:

Performances at Mercy Medical Building

Wednesday, Dec. 12 – Christmas Clarinet: Andrew DeBoer

Monday, Dec. 17 – O’ Holy Night: Karen Jeter, violin Wednesday, Dec. 19 – String Celebration: Fort Smith Symphony String Quartet

Monday, Dec. 24 – Christmas Eve Serenade: Gary Hutchison, guitar

Performances at Mercy Tower West

Tuesday, Dec. 11 – Guitar Greetings: Gary Hutchison

Thursday, Dec. 13 – Christmas Clarinet: Andrew DeBoer

Tuesday, Dec. 18 – O’ Holy Night: Karen Jeter, violin Thursday, Dec. 20 – String Celebration: Fort Smith Symphony String Quartet