There has not been a string orchestra in Stephenville since 1948, but last spring a freshman, Sarah Isbella, a cellist at Tarleton State University and head of the Fine Arts Department Dr. Teresa Davidian, changed all that when the Tarleton State Strings played their first spring concert in 58 years.

This year, Dr. Paul Bonneau has been hired to direct the community orchestra.

Bonneau, a Denton resident, holds a doctoral degree in music from the University of North Texas, and composes, as well as conducts. He has produced performances for his works in England, Canada, and the United States, including Carnegie Hall in New York City, N.Y. For the last 10 years Bonneau has been conducting for the Flower Mound Symphony Orchestra, in addition to being a guest conductor around the world.

“I’m very excited to develop a community orchestra here in Stephenville,” said Bonneau, “I’m confident that area residents and local students will support such an endeavor.”

The ‘Strings’ will consist of interested persons from the community and the college who play violin, viola, cello, or bass, while hoping to expand to winds and brass, and eventually percussion in the future.

Bonneau has aspirations of developing two orchestras, one for professionals and one for educational and amateur level players. All the positions will be non-paid, but will provide an avenue for local community members to showcase their talent. He hopes to see several generations of families participating.

Bonneau said anyone interested in an informal audition should contact him at (940) 383-4384 or the Fine Arts Department at Tarleton at (254) 968-9245. Bonneau said he looks forward to getting to know members of the Stephenville community and is delighted to become a part of the community himself.

The orchestra will begin rehearsals from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2007, in room 101 in the Fine Art Building and will practice every Tuesday at that time. Bonneau plans for musicians to focus on music from the Baroque period to present, including Bach, Mozart, and many others.

The ‘Strings will hold their first concert of the school year at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 20 in the Tarleton Fine Arts Theatre.