A NOTE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: ETHAN WILLS
The West Texas Symphony is an organization which has existed in the Permian Basin for over 60 years, and yet I ache whenever I hear that people in our community ask "We have a symphony?".
Even more so, it's difficult to digest the immense impact the West Texas Symphony has on the music and arts community in West Texas. So, I would like to share with you a bird's-eye view of this season so far. Let's start with what we've done, then we'll talk about what's to come...
FIRST HALF OF OUR 61ST SEASON:
Whether you purchase subscriptions to our Masterworks, Pops & Family, or Grand series packages, we provide eclectic orchestral programming for everyone at the Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center!
In early September, we officially started the season with a revisiting of composer Sergei Rachmaninoff and featured a beloved guest violist, Richard O'Neill.
Richard O'Neill visits with local Legacy High School students who attended rehearsal the night before Saturday's performance.
Happy 150th Rachmaninoff also welcomed our new concertmaster, Romina Dimock!
Did you know?...The Concertmaster is the instrumental leader of the orchestra, and in centuries past would lead in the absence of the conductor. This is why Maestro comes out and shakes their hand each performance. It's a "passing of the guard", if you will.
For Cirque Musica Symphonic, acrobats from around the world came to West Texas to showcase high-flying acts of athleticism and grace; a physical manifestation of the artistry we have grown accustomed to hearing from the West Texas Symphony!
Our third performance fell on Veterans Day this year where our gratitude for service was offered the best way we know how: musically. And of course, the ever-popular Holiday Pops show brought in a packed audience!
WTS Chamber Chorale and Symphony orchestra at our celebration of Veterans. Voices of the Permian Basin youth choir performing at the holiday pops event!
In addition to our 8 mainstage concerts, the West Texas Symphony's artistic model is built on the idea of "Chamber Groups" or small ensembles that rehearse an average of 3 hours a week. By retaining this model, the West Texas Symphony ensures a number of things including the development of artistic leadership which increases artistic quality. It's a model that is built for, and fairly specific to, the geography of West Texas.
Permian Basin String Quartet, West Texas Winds, Lone Star Brass
Speaking of Chamber groups, the Permian Basin String Quartet and the West Texas Symphony Orchestra welcomed violinist, Gabriella St. James!
Under the leadership of Dr. Juan Hernandez, the Chamber Chorale held their fall recital at Midland College.
TOMORROW, the Lone Star Brass is hosting its second annual Basin Brass Christmas Bonanza at St. Ann's Catholic church in Midland. Last year, the West Texas Symphony invested in the first iteration of this show, knowing it could build long-term artistic connections and could make our musical region stronger. What resulted was the West Texas Symphonic Brass which is being continued this year thanks to the artistic leadership of West Texas Symphony roster trumpet John Irish and co-principal trumpet, Ben Fairfield.
OUTREACH IN OUR COMMUNITY
West Texas Symphony performs for thousands of students annually and our outreach and impact reaches far beyond!
The West Texas Winds perform for college music majors UTPB. Afterwards, they answered questions from the students.
Each year, the West Texas Symphony produces Marvelous Melodies, a series of 3 daytime performances for over 5,000 students from MISD, ECISD, and other local schools. If you see it, you know it's one of the most important things we do, but following the pandemic we have struggled to find full funding. If you would like to join MISD, ECISD, community organizations, and individuals to ensure this program continues for future seasons, contact email@example.com.
Marvelous Melodies performances occurred Nov. 9th at 1PM, and Nov. 10th at both 9:30AM and 1PM. There is a demand for more shows as more ISDs reach out to participate. (Photo courtesy Dee Anna Arellano)
This past week our chamber groups performed for students at ECISD and MISD. This series is a great way for students to witness, in person, the full capability of a musical instrument which is a valuable experience as they plan to perhaps choose an instrument to study in the coming spring.
Permian Basin String Quartet performing for ECISD students. (Photo courtesy of ECISD Fine Arts)
WHAT'S TO COME
If I had to pick a central theme to this coming spring it would be "Collaborations":
We will start 2024 with a performance from the Permian Basin String Quartet to the students of the UTPB Music department, just as the West Texas Winds did earlier in September (3 photos previous).
In March, Special Guest, Wally Minko will be performing a world premier show, written by him especially for your orchestra.
On April 6th, we share the stage with Midland Festival Ballet for their production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Midland Festival Ballet President, Scott Benton, Maestro Gary Lewis, and your West Texas Symphony before the downbeat of this year's production of The Nutcracker. (Photo courtesy Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center)
And, recorded last year, look for your West Texas Symphony on Basin PBS!
And that's not all! Here is a complete list of all upcoming concerts featuring your West Texas Symphony:
LONE STAR BRASS
December 19 | 7:30 PM | St. Ann's Catholic Church
WEST TEXAS WINDS
January 18 | 7:30 PM | First Methodist Midland
February 3 | 7:30 PM | Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center
SPECIAL GUEST, WALLY MINKO
March 2 | 7:30 PM | Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center
LONE STAR BRASS
March 21 | 7:30 PM | Arts Council Midland (Outdoor Venue)
Midland College Presents:
AMOS LEE PERFORMS WITH THE WEST TEXAS SYMPHONY
March 24 | 7:30 PM | Midland College
PERMIAN BASIN STRING QUARTET
March 30 | 7:30 PM | Location TBA
Midland Festival Ballet Presents:
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM
Accompanied by the West Texas Symphony
April 6 | Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center
April 13 | 7:30 PM | Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center
VOICES OF THE PERMIAN BASIN
April 30 | 7:00 PM | Mid-Cities Church
May the 4th | 7:30 PM | Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center
May 19 | 3:00 PM | Location TBA
After all of this, and all yet to come, I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that the West Texas Symphony is funded by a network of ticket sales, Sponsorships, and Individual donations. Donate below. To learn more, or find out about legacy giving, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
We remain committed to combining the creativity gained from our Artistry with the wisdom of over 60 years in your community to ensure live music thrives in our community.
See you at the next concert!
West Texas Symphony