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Billings Symphony to host fundraiser at location packed with local neon history

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Posted at 6:14 PM, Sep 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-15 11:13:23-04

BILLINGS — Staff with Billings Symphony Orchestra and Chorale will offer a whiskey and wine tasting on Thursday at Henry's Garage to benefit the symphony's outreach programs.

“What a lot of people don’t know is that the symphony is actually out in the community over 100 times per year. Doing education programs, working in the nursing homes and the assisted living facilities and wherever we can bring music and joy," said Sandy Cantesano, development and events manager for the symphony on Tuesday.

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Billings Symphony Development and Events Manager Sandy Cantesano gives a preview of what to expect at the Whiskey and Wine event coming up on Thursday.

This year will be the third that symphony staff have held Whiskey and Wine. This year, the event is at a new, unique location that offers an atmosphere of local history.

"With the Symphony, this is our 71st season. We've got that long history in Billings as well. So when you actually have an opportunity to kind of take those two things and meld them together and do something for our community, it gives people a chance to get out and experience something new. A new place and at the same time, you're doing it for a good cause," said Cantesano.

The three-acre events space at Henry's Garage has two separate buildings decked out with 1950s memorabilia and vintage signs from now-closed businesses that longtime Billings residents would remember like the Kit Kat Cafe, Pug Mahone's and Oasis Bar.

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Neon signs for Wong Village Bar and Kit Kat Cafe now hang in working order inside Henry's Garage in Billings.

On Thursday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., eight different wine and whiskey distributors will set up at Henry's Garage to offer tastings. Then people can place an order to purchase a bottle of whatever caught their taste buds.

Chefs with the Northern Hotel will provide hors d'oeuvres and Rocky Mountain Jazz Collective will provide the music.

Money raised from the event will help symphony musicians reach more people with its outreach programs. Each year, the musicians bring world-class music to more than 100 places that don't often hear it, like schools, nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

"Music is something that, especially I think we've all learned in this last year, you get stressed, you get sad and music brings hope. It brings healing. It brings something to look forward to and just to feel good. And especially in the areas that we bring music to, a lot of those folks haven't been able to experience live music in over a year. So we bring that in to them just to give a bit of release, if you will," Cantesano said.

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More modern additions to the Billings business sign collection at Henry's Garage in Billings.

To learn more about the Billings Symphony Orchestra's upcoming season and events and buy tickets, visit the symphony's web site by clicking here.

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