It’s Symphony In The Hills time of year here in this neck of the woods. Many of you have probably been. But since tickets usually sell out on the first day they become available, perhaps an equal number of you have not attended. It’s an amazing and incredibly unique experience. It sounds like a cliche, but believe us, there really is nothing like it. That’s mainly because there is nothing quite like the Flint Hills of Kansas. The hills are simple, wide open and ever-changing in color. The hills seem to tell a story of another time in their tranquility. Combine that with symphonic music (from the full Kansas City Symphony), colorful sunsets, stars, a cattle drive, and to Lailan’s delight – real cowboys – well, it makes for a truly memorable occasion.
While we can’t make the concert this year (it’s being held on June 10 near Junction City, KS), Lailan and I went last year to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Nothing says anniversary date like a night on the prairie, but remember what I said above? Stars, music, sunset…and cowboys! Enough about that! I’m pretty bummed to miss this year as the special guest is Michael Martin Murphey – y’all know the song “Wildfire” from the mid-70’s. “She ran calling, Wild….fire….!” Yup. Love that song.
Anyway, a cool thing about about Symphony In The Hills is they move the location to different ranches throughout the Flint Hills. A dedicated group of local ranchers continue to run the non-profit group. Here’s a little blurb from the Symphony In The Hills website about how it all got started:
In 1994, Matfield Green rancher Jane Koger celebrated her birthday by inviting the public to a “Symphony on the Prairie.” More than 3,000 people from far and wide congregated at her Homestead Ranch for a magical union between symphonic music and the prairie landscape.
Ten years after Jane Koger’s legendary birthday concert, Chase, Lyon, Morris and Wabaunsee County leaders founded Symphony in the Flint Hills, Inc. to heighten the appreciation and knowledge of the tallgrass prairie. In 2006, the organization held the first of its annual prairie concerts, a Kansas tradition that now attracts approximately 7,000 attendees from all over the world.
So, while we can’t make it this year, we certainly plan to go as often as we can in the years to come. We highly recommend it and would love to hear comments from those of you have attended. All we know is it’s a moving experience, especially for a kid who grew up in Kansas and is very familiar with the beauty of the Flint Hills. It also says a lot about the experience when Lailan, the Hawaii girl, is equally touched by the majestic power of the prairie and the simple beauty it displays. Or, maybe she just liked the music!
P.S. If you are going this year and are spending the night in the area, don’t forget to check out the Konza Prairie Hike – click here to read our blog post about this awesome trail just outside Manhattan.