The Walton Performing Arts Center is a beautiful 1,500-seat auditorium connected to the Marion High School building.
The Walton Center has fantastic lighting, projection, and audio capabilities, and it plays host to a myriad of events every year, showcasing both school and community groups, along with regional and traveling acts and shows.
The Walton Center was named after F. Ritchie Walton, a longtime music teacher at MHS and choral innovator who started one of the first high school show choirs in the nation in 1966. The group would later take the name the 26th Street Singers (and are now called the 26th Street Innovations). His shows, which he often scored himself, were influenced by pop culture and pop music, along with trends in musical theater and the arts (which he put a priority on experiencing for himself, spending time in the summer at Broadway shows). The shows incorporated student musicians, as well as musicians and artists from the community. He also directed musical theater at Marion High School. He had high standards and expectations for his students, and he provided an amazing platform for many young musicians and artists to build on throughout their lives.
The excitement he created around the music and theater programs at Marion High School left quite a legacy, so it is fitting that Marion Community Schools named this outstanding venue after him. MCS appreciates the continued community support that has assisted in renovations and more.
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Walton Center an important part of our community arts scene
Check out this great report from WIWU-TV's Crossroads about the outstanding community partnership between Marion Community Schools and the Community School of the Arts! We're proud to host CSA shows here at the Walton Performing Arts Center, and we're grateful for the opportunity to give our students the chance to enjoy such great performances!