TSO conductor to retire
The man who shaped the Temple Symphony Orchestra will step down after the May 8 season finale.
THURSDAY FEBRUARY 17, 2022
HOLY TRINITY hosting 17 schools at speech and debate tournament.
SPRING MARKET & FOOD TRUCK FRENZY is March 12 in Downtown Temple.
CENTRAL TEXAS DIETITIAN says low-carb diets should include veggies, fruit.
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FISHING REPORT: We have had several requests for an expanded fishing report, so we did. Lakes Granger and Limestone have been added, plus a link to all Texas lakes and bays.
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple
As the final notes are sounded and the maestro’s wand is lowered for the last time on May 8, Temple will witness the end of an era.
Thomas Fairlie, founder and director of the Temple Symphony Orchestra, is stepping down following the Mother’s Day Concert at the Mary Alice Marshall Performing Arts Center.
“I have mixed feelings about this,” Fairlie said. “I’ve always loved the art of conducting — there’s absolutely nothing more exhilarating than standing in front of the orchestra. But that’s just a small part of the job. It’s the management and day-to-day preparations — I’m tired.”
Fairlie said he plans on taking a year off, but he is open to other musical opportunities within the Temple community.
Fairlie came to Temple in 1990 to head the band program at the local community college, but plans to become a conductor have deeper roots.
“I decided to be an orchestral trumpet player in 1975,” he said. “After a while, though, I was diagnosed with embouchure dystonia, a medical condition that affects muscle contractions in the face. I knew that eventually the day would come when I could no longer play. I decided to pursue teaching and maybe explore my interest in conducting”
In 1990, Fairlie was an assistant band director at McMurry State University in Abilene. His duties there included developing shows for the marching band and working with the college orchestra.
“When I began writing halftime shows, I was glad I had a music education degree,” he said. “I had never really utilized it until then.”
Fairlie had received his music education from Toledo University and the University of Louisville.
At McMurry, Fairlie developed an outstanding jazz ensemble and he made the decision to take the group on a Texas tour. At the suggestion of one of his saxophone players — former Temple student Len Wilson — he decided to ask Temple High School administrators if they would be interested in hosting a concert.
“I was politely told that their stage was being used on the date I had inquired about, but they recommended that I check with Temple Junior College,” Fairley recalled. “They, too, had a full stage, but I really hit it off with Rodger Bennett, the music department chairman at the time. He told me he was working to create a full-time instrumentalist position at the college.”
Two years later, Fairlie decided to check on that position. He also applied and interviewed for the band director’s job at Texas A&M.
“I made the finals in the A&M hiring process, but while I was waiting, Rodger called and offered the Temple (College) position,” Fairlie said. “I figured if A&M was interested, they would have called.”
After arriving on the Temple College campus on Aug. 10, 1990, Fairlie was told he needed to have a symphonic band and a jazz ensemble ready for a fall concert.
“The jazz ensemble was OK, but the symphonic band had 13 members at the time,” he said with a laugh. “Thirteen.”
So, it was time to go to work.
“I had no specific plan other than meeting like-minded musicians who might consider playing in the band,” Fairlie said. “I started going to high school football games in the area and sitting with the band directors. I started to get to know them and slowly made a few friends.”
“I also spent a lot of time at Holze Music,” he said. “I remember one young man heard me talking and kept his head down. I finally walked over to him. Before I could say anything, he said: ‘You are going to recruit me, aren’t you?’ Eventually, he joined my band.”
The band quickly grew to 25 members and included some talented adult players from the community. By the time the fall concert rolled around, 60 musicians — including several high school band directors — stepped on stage.
“I also had a lot of success with the jazz ensemble,” Fairlie said. “We went to the Loyola Jazz Festival in New Orleans that year and won it.”
When hired at Temple College, Fairlie had said he intended to start a local jazz festival. He did.
“Temple College Jazz Festival started in 1991,” he said. “We had four high school bands. The next year we had six, then eight. In 1993, we brought in Marvin Stan, a professional trumpet player from New York, to perform and conduct clinics.”
The next year, The Temple College Jazz Festival included 16 bands.
“The college music program had blown up,” Fairlie said. “We had so much interest we had to start a second jazz ensemble.”
To put on a festival of that size, Fairlie was going to need a substantial sum of money. He met with Don Nelson, a public relations agent with Scott & White Hospital, and Don agreed to help fund the event.
“Don went to the Scott & White board, and they made a donation. He was so impressed with what we accomplished, he came to me with a proposition.”
Don wanted a professional orchestra to perform a community Christmas concert. Scott & White donated $10,000 to make such a concert a reality, and Fairlie accepted the challenge.
The Central Texas Orchestra had dissolved in the early 1990s, and Don wanted to fill the void.
“We called ourselves the Temple Chamber Orchestra,” Fairlie said. “We had about 70 musicians — band and orchestra directors, former members of the Central Texas Orchestra, even Scott & White doctors who had played in their college orchestras and bands.”
The 1994 Christmas concert was held at Temple High School and the orchestra walked on stage to a packed house.
“It was standing room only,” Fairlie remembered. “We even had a closed circuit television set up in the Temple High cafeteria because there wasn’t enough seating. On stage, the orchestra met all the expectations I had hoped for. Don was thrilled. When the concert was over he was on stage inviting us back the next year.”
That second holiday concert was enjoyed in 1975, and soon the decision was made to change the name to Temple Symphony Orchestra. By 1997, TSO had incorporated and received its not-for-profit status. Slowly, the number of performances each year grew until there was a full season of concerts.
The band was in demand. TSO was invited to Sun City near Georgetown, and starting in 2000 the orchestra began performing its season in two locations.
“We would perform in Temple on Saturday night, then go to Georgetown the next day for an afternoon concert,” Fairlie said.
A Van Cliburn recital was added in 2009 and the tradition of hosting a finalist from the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition continues today. The 12th recital — one was cancelled during the pandemic — will be held in the fall.
Over the years, the TSO has performed throughout Central Texas, including Fort Hood, Cameron, Copperas Cove and Georgetown.
“In the early days, we got the best players in our area,” Fairlie said. “That’s changed. Now, many of our original members have retired. When we hold auditions, we routinely get some of the best players in the state — they come from Dallas, Austin, Houston. We are bringing in people with masters and doctorate degrees in performance.”
“We have gained legitimacy, and today we are getting grant money and money from the city,” he said. “We started an endowment fund in 2017, and that makes us permanent. At some point that fund will kick into our budget. It guarantees TSO’s future.”
From its modest beginnings as an orchestra formed to play a holiday concert, TSO is now one of the best small-town orchestras in America.
“We’re definitely in the top 10 percent,” Fairlie said. “After every concert, people tell me: ‘That was the best concert I’ve ever heard.’ That means a lot.”
Many members of the Temple Symphony Orchestra also perform with other orchestras around the state.
“We have musicians who play in four or five Texas orchestras — Waco, Abilene, Bryan, Kerrville.”
“I have to pay attention when I’m scheduling so I will have my full orchestra,” he said. “We try not to schedule concerts on the same nights.”
Jan Salzman, executive director of TSO, said a search committee has been formed to find Fairlie’s replacement.
According to a post on the TSO website, the committee is seeking “a highly motivated and experienced candidate for the position of artistic director and conductor. The ideal candidate is expected to be an active and visible member of the local arts community.”
Kenny Lange, an employe at the Czech Heritage Museum & Genealogy Center, stands by The Blessings of Liberty: The U.S. Constitution. The display will be at the museum on West French until May 31. David Stone photo
Czech Heritage Museum exhibit examines the U.S. Constitution
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple
A new exhibit that examines the document on which the United States was founded is now on display at the Czech Heritage Museum & Genealogy Center in Temple.
The Blessings of Liberty: The U.S. Constitution will be at the museum through May 31.
“Written to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, the Constitution is short, simple and often ambiguous,” said Abby Paschall, program coordinator for Humanities Texas, the exhibit’s organizer and the state’s affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
“As the blueprint for our nation’s government, it represents a set of beliefs and a way of life,” she said.
“This exhibition seeks to explain the immense importance of a document that holds answers to challenging questions about government.”
Developed by a national consortium of scholars and institutions, The Blessings of Liberty consists of 12 poster panels addressing the transformation of the United States from a group of colonies to a nation united by a single document.
The Czech Heritage Museum & Genealogy Center is located at 119 W French in Temple, and it is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Holy Trinity students wait for their turn to compete at the Yellow Rose District Speech & Debate Tournament being held this week at the West Temple school. Seventeen schools are in town to participate in the event. Photo courtesy of Holy Trinity
Holy Trinity hosts speech/debate tourney; 17 schools competing
Our Town Temple
Holy Trinity Catholic High School has a lot of visitors this week.
The school is hosting the Yellow Rose District Speech & Debate Tournament through Friday. Top students at the event qualify for the national tournament this summer in Kentucky.
According to Renee Morales, Holy Trinity’s director of admissions, the West Temple school has qualified for the national tournament 12 straight years.
The tournament is governed by the National Speech & Debate Association, which is the largest nonprofit organization for middle school, high school and collegiate speech and debate students in the United States.
Holy Trinity is welcoming 17 schools to the this year’s tournament, including A&M Consolidated, Aspermont, Caney Creek, Center, Centerville, Chapel Hill, China Spring, Godley, Grandview, Grapevine, Midway, Princeton, Round Rock Christian Academy, THEO Christian and West Hardin.
“There are 14 areas of competition in which students can qualify for nationals at this tournament,” Morales said.
Holy Trinity students competing in the tournament are Jonah Ainley, Joshua Barkis, Thomas Bennett, Zachary Boor, Nicholas Boor, Folake Fregene, Brisa Gonzalez-Fernandez, Isabelle Kuriger, Samuel Kwan, Theresa Lindberg, Therese Mosmeyer, Valerie Schwartz and Patrick Seffrood.
Also: Aidan Collins, Jaewon Jang, Dani Brown, Anh Nguyen, Haram Yoon, Jalen Cooper and Waverly Stewart.
Spring Market & Food Truck Frenzy is March 12 in Downtown Temple
Our Town Temple
The Temple Small Business Coalition will hold its Spring Market & Food Truck Frenzy on Saturday, March 12, in the Temple Municipal Building parking lot.
The event will begin at 2 p.m.
After a two-month winter break, the Coalition plans to continue it’s monthly market every month and add the Food Truck Frenzy quarterly.
The group’s Holiday Market & Food Truck Frenzy in December featured nearly 25 food trucks, 75 vendors and thousands of shoppers.
The Spring Market is free to attend and will include food trucks, a huge array of vendors, games and a bouncy house for the kids and live music.
“Come out and enjoy the kickoff to our 2022 market series with the ever popular Food Truck Frenzy,” said J.D. McBride, one of the event’s organizers.
To sign up as a vendor, please click HERE.
Fruits and vegetables provide your body with essential nutrients and fibers, and should not be eliminated from your diet in favor of a low-carb or no-carb diet, a local dietitian said this week. David Stone photo
Central Texas dietitian says low-carb diets should include veggies, fruit
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple
While low-carb diets have been popular for years, there’s a growing trend toward extremely low and even no-carb diets, a move that a local dietitian and diabetes educator calls “a bad idea.”
“No-carb is not safe,” said Ronda Hanley, a dietitian with Aramark, the food service contractor for Baylor Scott & White Health. “Technically, you could live for a period of time without carbohydrates, but eventually it will cause big problems.”
“Carbs are needed by the body,” she said. “There’s a price to pay for not eating them.”
Carbs are everywhere, and a strict no-carb diet would require eating meat, fish, eggs, butter, oils, water and unsweetened coffee. That’s about it
“The moment you start adding legumes, vegetables, nuts and seeds, you are in carb territory,” Hanley said. “That’s a good thing.”
“Carbs fuel your brain and every cell in our bodies,” she said. “Skipping high processed carbs might be good advice, but we get many nutrients from fruits and vegetables.”
Hanley said an extremely low-carb diet would mean eating 20 grams or less of carbohydrates every day.
Carbs don’t just refer to table sugar or a bowl of pasta, she said. They are found naturally in beans, veggies, bread, fruits and many other foods.
Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are the three main nutrients our bodies use for energy. Carbohydrates are made up of combinations of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.
Simple carbohydrates are smaller molecules that are easier to break down than complex ones. Complex carbohydrates are larger molecules and are more difficult for our bodies to digest.
So, what do carbs do for you?
“Carbs provide energy for our bodies,” Hanley said. “Complex carbs fuel us with a more sustainable energy source than simple carbs, which give short-term energy bursts.”
When we ingest foods with carbohydrates, our bodies turn the molecules into cellular energy.
Additionally, carbs trigger a serotonin release in the brain — which means they boost our mood.
Hanley doesn’t endorse one particular diet to help people lose weight.
“It’s very individual,” she said. “What works for one person may not work for the next. I recommend getting dietary counseling before starting a diet, especially if you are diabetic.”
Hanley, who has been affiliated with Baylor Scott & White for 13 years, does encourage getting the majority of your carbohydrates from “good” sources — fruits and vegetables.
“Yes, that would be a healthier method of cutting back on carbs,” she said. “You can limit your carb intake but still get needed nutrients.”
Hanley said the average person should consume about 130 grams a day of healthy carbs. Processed foods don’t include enough natural nutrients and much of the fiber is removed, which can lead to constipation and other stomach issues.
“Eating a low-carb diet that doesn’t include fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts means you aren’t consuming fiber, which helps things move along in your gut,” she said. “You also will miss out on essential nutrients and antioxidants.”
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Belton Lake: Good
Water lightly stained; 50 degrees; 2.85 feet low. Winter Storm Landon dropped Lake Belton water temperatures to their coldest yet this winter. Helpful bird activity has diminished and fish are now found as deep as they have been all winter in 28-42 feet of water. When fish are more active a ⅝ ounce white Bladed Hazy Eye Slab is producing. When fish are less active the deadstick technique horizontally rigged using short soft jigheads. Report by Bob Maindelle, Holding the Line Guide Service
Catfish are in full transition moving from deep to shallow water, 5-20 feet of water. Blue catfish are good on fresh cut bait. Channel catfish are good on commercial baits. Yellow catfish are slow. Report by Jason "SPUD" Barton, Cattin' Around Adventure's Professional Guide Service
Stillhouse Hollow: Good
Water lightly stained; 45 degrees; 2.82 feet low. Winter Storm Landon dropped water temperatures to their coldest yet this winter. Helpful bird activity has diminished and fish are now found as deep as they have been all winter in 32-51 feet of water. When fish are more active a ⅝ ounce white Bladed Hazy Eye Slab is producing. When fish are less active the deadstick technique horizontally rigged using short soft jigheads is producing. Report by Bob Maindelle, Holding the Line Guide Service.
Lake Limestone: Great
Water clear; 43 degrees; 0.66 feet low. Largemouth bass are good nine feet or less using finesse jigs, wacky worms, and jerk baits. Crappie are good suspended in 13-23 feet of water using minnows around standing timber and brush piles. White bass are good in 9-17 feet of water on silver jigging spoons. Report by Colan Gonzales, DFW Fishing Guide Booking.com.
Granger Lake: Good
Water lightly stained; 44 degrees; 1.46 feet high. Another cold front will push the fish deep and suspended. Crappie are slow biting on jigs or live minnows near the Foxes Bottom area. Catfishing is fair on live bait. White bass are slow, moving into the creeks getting ready to spawn. Report by Duane Danek, Danek Guide Service.