The opening concert for the Newton Mid-Kansas Symphony Orchestra’s new season puts the focus on mental health through the music of great composers. The concert, “Mad Melancholy,” is set for Oct. 20, at 4 p.m. in Bethel College Memorial Hall. Thomas W. Douglas leads the orchestra through works by Brahms, Schumann, and Debussy with KSN TV’s Dave Freeman, narrating, and Prairie View, Inc. professionals providing mental health information. The concert is sponsored by Newton Medical Center.

The program features the Symphony no. 2 in C Major by Robert Schumann, a composer who suffered from mental illness throughout his lifetime. The concert also includes Claude Debussy’s introspective Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun and the Tragic Overture by Johannes Brahms, a friend of Schumann.

Dave Freeman, Chief Meteorologist of the KSN Pin Point Weather Center, holds a certificate in Broadcast Meteorology from Mississippi State University, and special training in NEXRAD Doppler Radar. Dave was the first person to be recognized twice as Broadcaster of the Year by the National Weather Association. His coverage of the Greensburg tornado in May of 2007 was recognized with the NWA 2008 Broadcaster of the Year Award.

Prairie View, a faith-based, private behavioral and mental health services provider, offers a complete range of behavioral and psychiatric services for all ages as well as consultation services to businesses and organizations. In addition to the main campus with addictions treatment center, outpatient offices and psychiatric hospital in Newton, Prairie View has outpatient offices in Hillsboro, McPherson, and at two locations in Wichita.

Thomas W. Douglas, in his third season as NMKSO’s Music Director, has nearly two-hundred symphonic, opera, oratorio, and music theater productions to his credit. In August he completed his fourteenth season as music director of Music Theatre of Wichita. Douglas is a faculty member of the Carnegie Mellon School of Music, and Artistic Director and Conductor of the Bach Choir, both in Pittsburgh, PA. Guest conducting appearances include the Edgewood (PA) Symphony, Pittsburgh (PA) Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony Chorus, and most recently Wichita Symphony Orchestra, which he returns to conduct in February.

The fall concert is the first of two Classics Concerts in the NMKSO 2013-14 Season “iMood.” On January 26 the Winter Classics Concert, “Sensuous Serenade,” at Newton High School, will highlight moods of the individual sections of the orchestra, plus feature the 6th Annual Young Soloists. The season continues with a Spring Concert “Pops a-Plenty” on March 30, and Summer Chamber Music, “Romantic Ruminations” on June 8.

Tickets for the Oct. 20 concert are $12 advance/$14 at the door for adults; $6/7 for students, and free admission for children under twelve accompanied by an adult. Tickets are available at Ten Thousand Villages, Faith and Life Bookstore, and at the door the day of the concert. Tickets may also be purchased at the NMKSO office 120 W. 6th St., Suite 120 during office hours 2-5 p.m. Mon-Thu., and online at For more information contact NMKSO at 316-772-3265.