Discover the San Angelo Symphony

By Laura Gallagher on April 28, 2011 at 6:20 pm EST

For 60 years, the San Angelo Symphony has been a cultural mainstay of the community, providing a variety of classical concerts, family events and educational programs.

From the 2009 season’s opening concert Rachmaninoff Rocks! in October to its exciting conclusion, The Crown Jewels of Mexico, in April, the symphony will provide a wealth of entertainment during this landmark anniversary season.

The Crown Jewels performance will feature the world-renowned Mariachi Vargas in their first appearance in San Angelo – an event that is stirring excitement.

“They are the best mariachi in the world,” says San Angelo Symphony Maestro Hector Guzman. Guzman, who joined the symphony in 2002, was born into a family of music. “I didn’t choose music; it chose me,” he says.

At age 17, he led a memorial concert performance of Mozart’s Requiem at the National Conservatory of Music in Mexico City. He later graduated from the conservatory and also holds degrees from the University of North Texas and Southern Methodist University in Dallas. He has earned numerous awards for his work. In 2008, Guzman was awarded the Mozart Medal, which he considers Mexico’s highest musical honor.

Symphony Events

Other symphony events in the coming season include the Ring-in-the-Holidays Christmas Event, the Sorantin Young Artist Competition and the July 3 Pops Concert. The Sorantin Competition is celebrating its 50th anniversary this season. Students of stringed instruments and piano gather to compete in hopes of launching their musical careers. “Students come from around the world to participate,” says Charlotte Lewis, executive director of the symphony.

In addition to the Sorantin competition, the symphony offers many music education programs, including youth concerts, spring break music camps and group visits to orchestra rehearsals. It also provides “traveling trunks” to area schools. The trunks contain orchestral instruments, books, compact discs and other items the students can use to spark imagination through a hands-on learning experience.

Another popular event is the symphony’s annual July 3 Pops Concert in honor of the military. The concert includes patriotic music led by Maestro Guzman, historic cannons from Fort Concho, military pageantry and fireworks. “It’s a wonderful event because the community is able to demonstrate their appreciation to the men and women in uniform,” Lewis says.

The event attracts more than 30,000 people each year and is the fourth-largest event of its kind in Texas. “It’s so much fun to see families crowding in on the banks of the Concho River and to see their smiling faces illuminated by fireworks,” Lewis says.

Check out more great music in San Angelo, TX.

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