OGDEN -- One of the more elusive groups in Ogden is the nonexistent Ogden Symphony, a group often thought to exist when performances are provided by the Ogden Symphony Ballet Association.
In reality, the association contracts out with the Utah Symphony and Ballet West so performances can be staged closer for residents in the Top of Utah.
"We're the Ogden Symphony Ballet Association, but we have no ballet and no symphony," said Sharon Macfarlane, executive director.
"Here we have been around for all these years, and still people in Ogden haven't figured out that these are the same concerts (performed by the Utah Symphony), just not as many of them."
For the last 50 years, the Ogden Symphony Ballet Association has worked closely with the Utah Symphony and Ballet West by looking at what the two organizations are performing during their season and then picking some of the concerts to be performed at Weber State University's auditorium.
With a host of different performances available -- classical, pops and family shows, in addition to the ballet performances -- residents certainly have many choices when it comes to art.
Each performance costs thousands of dollars, and with ticket sales covering only about 40 percent of the expenses, manager Melissa Seamons said, the Ogden Symphony Ballet Association relies heavily on individual and community donations.
Despite the downturn in the economy, the association is still thriving, said Seamons. In order to cope with costs, though, they have had to cut a few of the performances during their last few seasons, which run from September to May.
Some of the biggest reasons for wanting to host the Utah Symphony and Ballet West in Ogden were less -expensive ticket prices, free parking, and a good economic development for the county and city, Macfarlane said.
"When people are looking to relocate in Ogden coming from larger areas, they want to know what kind of arts we have available here," she said.
"The convenience here, you just can't beat."
For the Utah Symphony, coming to Ogden feels like a second home.
"It's a wonderful opportunity to go there and play to those varied audiences," said Toby Tolokan, vice president of symphony artistic planning. "When you are invited annually to play 10 different concerts in one venue, it's just a great honor and feels like they're a part of our family."
This season with the Ogden Symphony Ballet Association will include performances by the BYU Ballroom Dance Company and the BYU Folk Dance Ensemble.
The family shows are meant for the whole family to attend and are a good way to introduce kids to the orchestra. For Macfarlane, though, attending concerts is more than just music.
"When you are faced with dire situations after you read the paper and listen to the news, you can go to a concert and you can forget about it. You need that kind of thing in your life to help balance it out."