The Whiting and The Ticket Center box office are located between Mott Community College and University of Michigan-Flint on the beautiful Flint Cultural Center campus at 1241 E. Kearsley St. in Flint, MI.
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Karen Mills Jennings
Artistic Director, Nutcracker
Karen Mills Jennings supervises the dance faculty and coordinates a curriculum of Preschool Creative Dance, Elementary Ballet, Intermediate Ballet, Advanced Ballet, Modern Dance and performance ensembles at the Flint School of Performing Arts (FSPA). She is also Outreach Coordinator for the Flint Institute of Music.
From 1980 to 1986, she danced professionally with Ballet Michigan, under the direction of Gayla Zukevich, while also teaching full time at the FSPA. In 1987, she founded the Flint Youth Ballet (FYB), the advanced dance ensemble of the FSPA that participates in the Mid-States/Regional Dance America Festival each spring. The FYB hosted that festival in Flint in 1999, with more than 400 dancers participating. Jennings has also served on the Dance Grant Panel for the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.
Prior to studying with Zukevich, Jennings studied extensively with David Howard in New York. She received a bachelor of fine arts degree in dance/theatre from Marygrove College in Detroit and has also studied the Russian Ballet Technique with Jurgen Sneider at Western Michigan University.
She is married to Martin W. Jennings. They have three children, Alexandra, Benjamin and Michael.
Guest Conductor Flint Symphony Orchestra
Nearly 20 years ago, David Mairs started his conducting career in Flint. Since that time he has returned to conduct Flint Symphony Orchestra Classical Concerts, Family Concerts, Nutcracker and Music in the Parks summer series. For the past ten years, Mairs has also been the Music Director of the Mid Texas Symphony. He served for 11 years as Resident Conductor of the San Antonio Symphony and continues to be a guest on its podium. He is in his second year serving as Music Director of the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio.
Mairs shares his love of music and people with audiences throughout the United States. He is a regular guest with the Austin Symphony and has conducted several concerts with the Dallas Symphony at the famed Meyerson Center. Mairs has had multiyear engagements with the Houston Symphony, the Dayton Philharmonic and the Charlotte Symphony. He has also conducted the symphonies of Kansas City, Colorado Springs, Corpus Christi, Saginaw, Ann Arbor and Dearborn.
Mairs holds bachelor's and master's degrees in music from the University of Michigan and a master of divinity degree from the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.
He has been an arranger for orchestras and bands for over 30 years. Since 1997, he has composed several pieces for symphony orchestras and symphonic band, some of which have been performed by the FSO. Most recently, he composed a piece for the Flint School of Performing Arts that was performed by 250 students at the 25th annual Showcase Concert at The Whiting Auditorium in May 2003.