Southwest Symphony was founded in 1983 to fulfill a need created by the suspension of the Community Concert Series in Hobbs, NM. From its inception the Symphony has strived to bring a variety of music and dance programs to the citizens of Southeastern New Mexico. Each season Southwest Symphony presents seven concerts that include three classical, semi-classical, and pop music performed by our Southwest Symphony Orchestra. Additionally the Symphony acts as a presenter to bring four performers that includes a variety of music and dance genres.
On behalf of the Board of Directors it is my pleasure to welcome you to another great season of outstanding performances. This year kicks off the 32nd Season for Southwest Symphony and without the faithful support from our patrons and the community we would have little reason to perform. We owe our success over the years to you! As always, our season is comprised of three great performances of the Southwest Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Mark Jelinek, a Hobbs native, as well at four Cultural Arts Series of presented events that literally will ‘bring the world’ to you this season!
As we enter the 32nd season, it is our aim to keep up with current trends in communication, social media and online ticketing. Please like us on our Southwest Symphony of Hobbs, NM Facebook page and follow us on Twitter and Instagram. You will be included in all the great happenings of our musicians and performers and get the latest information on upcoming events for the season.
As in past seasons, we have several performers and SWSO musicians that will visit and perform in Lea County schools as part of the Youth Series Outreach program. This music mentorship program spans a nine-year period for each student from start to finish. It is introduced in 3rd grade and continues through senior high school. The overall design is to bring a variety of youth performances and to introduce various performing arts genres to 3rd-6th grade students. At the secondary level, targeted music workshops and master classes are offered to school choral and band departments. One of the five youth residencies scheduled for the 15-16 season is the Annual Tour of Schools. SWS Orchestra musicians, our conductor, and staff will travel to Lovington, Tatum and Hobbs schools to have an interactive experience learning history and instrumentation of a symphonic orchestra, while building rapport and interest from students. Each visit ends with a performance from the orchestra. As the Elementary Music Coordinator for Hobbs Municipal Schools, I am grateful and proud of this program that invests in the music education of our students, generates an appreciation for the performing arts, and encourages the arts as a source of creativity throughout their lives.
It is my hope that you are able to come and every performance this season and we thank you for your interest in our endeavors.
Kesa L. Offutt- President
This season marks his 21th season as Artistic Director of the Southwest Symphony Orchestra. He holds a Bachelor of Music Education and a Master of Arts degree from Eastern New Mexico University, where he studied cello and conducting under Arthur M. Welker. Dr. Jelinek received his Doctor of Musical Arts from Arizona State University, where he studied cello with Takayori Atsumi and conducting with Eugene Lombardi, Frank Spinosa and Richard Strange.
Dr. Jelinek served as orchestra conductor at Cooper High School in Abilene, Texas, at Alamogordo High School in Alamogordo, New Mexico and at Marcos di Niza High School in Tempe, Arizona. Dr. Jelinek is a professor of music at Bloomsburg University in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. He is starting his twenty-sixth year as conductor of the Bloomsburg University Community Orchestra and nineteenth year as conductor of the Bloomsburg University Chamber Orchestra.
He has performed in cello sections of orchestras in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California and Pennsylvania. Notable guest artists who have performed with Southwest Symphony Orchestra under Dr. Jelinek’s direction include Michael Martin Murphey, B.J. Thomas and Riders in the Sky as well as revival bands performing the music of the Beatles and ABBA.
Dr. Jelinek grew up in Hobbs and is the son of Mrs. Gladys Jelinek and the late Robert M. Jelinek of Hobbs.
Genevieve S. Cavanaugh has been working with the Southwest Symphony since fall of 2006. She is also a freelance photographer and writer for various businesses, goverment agencies and publications including New Mexico Magazine and Guestlife New Mexico. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism from NMSU in 1990 and is married with two children. She is an ex-officio member of the Symphony’s Board of Directors. She is an active member at Crosswinds Community Church, a past president of the Hobbs Literary Club, and recently was inducted into Hobbs Rotary Club.
Cindy Walker has been the Orchestra Manager since 1995. She has a B.M. in Piano Performance and a M.M. in Music Theory & Composition from Texas Tech University and an Associate degree in Mortuary Science from Amarillo College. Ms. Walker is the manager at Griffin Funeral Home and is organist at First United Methodist Church. She is an ex-officio member of the Symphony’s Board of Directors.
Meghan Mooney was named Marketing Coordinator at the Southwest Symphony in June 2015 after serving for a year as an intern with the Symphony. She received her Bachelor of Business degree with an emphasis on Marketing from University of the Southwest in May 2015. She also teaches a violin class at Will Rogers Elementary School in Hobbs, serves as a Youth Group volunteer at Crosswinds Community Church, participates in various athletic activities in Hobbs, and is looking forward to becoming more active in the community.
Christy Hepp began working with the Southwest Symphony August 2014, after being a volunteer on the Governing Committee. A retired teacher with the Hobbs Schools, she graduated with a Bachelor of Education Degree from University of the Southwest and a Masters Degree in Teaching from Grand Canyon University. She volunteers with various organizations around the community and is excited to be working with the schools again inspiring and educating students through music with SWS.