The L’Abri Symphony Orchestra has had a long history in Dalton, with its beginnings in 1992 at the Kinsey Drive Baptist Church as part of the L’Abri Academy of Fine Arts.
From 2001 until 2011, the orchestra was based at the Colonnade Center in Catoosa County, but then returned to Dalton in 2012. Soon after, it presented the 2013 Civil War Centennial concert at the then-Convention and Trade Center, with about 1,200 in attendance.
Since then, it has been based at First Baptist Church of Dalton, where it rehearses and presents all of its concerts in the sanctuary. In March 2020, L’Abri was about to present its most ambitious concert yet, "The Roaring Twenties," with Gershwin’s "Rhapsody in Blue" as centerpiece. Unfortunately, the very week the performance was to take place, COVID-19 shut everything down.
In May of this year, things were looking much better, and L’Abri began planning a very special concert, a message of faith and hope, inspired by the famous hymn and anthem "It is Well With My Soul." It was meant as encouragement and comfort after all the grief caused by COVID-19.
But again, just after Labor Day, it was apparent the delta surge was too big a challenge to work around, and the concert, planned for Sept. 30, had to be postponed until sometime next spring.
The symphony celebrates its 30th anniversary season next year, an amazing run for an all-volunteer organization. "It is Well" will be the start of an exciting comeback season, hopefully in late March or early April.