About The Symphony

Our Story

  • July 1949

    Initial organization of the San Angelo Symphony Society.

  • November 1949

    First Concert. Dr. Eric Sorantin of San Antonio was the First Conductor.

  • 1955

    San Angelo Symphony Guild was established.

  • 1959

    Eric Sorantin Young Artists Competition established1965 the name changed to Hemphill-Wells Sorantin Award for Young Artist in cooperation with and funding from the Hemphill-Wells Foundation. Read more about the Sorantin Competition.

  • 1967

    Eric Sorantin retires; Charles Blackman, Associate Conductor of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, became conductor. Blackman organized the first San Angelo Symphony Chorale.
  • 1968

    The first Symphony Gala was held.

  • 1973

    Joined with the Abilene Philharmonic to provide and share conductor, musicians, and guest artists. George Yaeger Conducted both the San Angelo and Abilene Orchestras.

  • 1978

    Dissolved relationship with Abilene and employed Gene Chartier Smith, San Angelo’s first resident conductor. Smith also served as orchestra coordinator for the San Angelo Public Schools.

  • 1979

    Subscription concert series increased to 5 concerts.
  • 1980

    Dissolved relationship with Abilene and employed Gene Chartier Smith, San Angelo’s first resident conductor. Smith also served as orchestra coordinator for the San Angelo Public Schools.

  • 1983

    25th Anniversary of the Hemphill-Wells Sorantin Young Artist Competition. The finals were added to the regular subscription series, making a total of 6 events.

  • 1984

    Subscription series increased to 7 events: Six symphony concerts plus the H-WS Finals. SASO plays to its first standing room only audience.

  • 1985

    SASO presents its first Kinder Concert(s). Symphony Guild reinstates the Symphony Gala.

  • 1986

    SASO plays to largest audience ever: 3500 at the Texas Sesquicentennial Pops Concert at the Coliseum. SASO presents its first pair of concerts – The Christmas Pops Concerts, with a combined total audience of 2400. Board of Directors implements an Endowment Fund Campaign, and the first-time solicitation of Corporate Sponsorships: Target Stores ($15,000), and GTE ($10,000).

  • 1987

    SASO performs its first July 3rd Pops Concert on the New Riverstage to an estimated audience of 10,000.

  • 1989 - 1990

    Combined total annual audience reaches 25,000. Orchestra commits to employing 60 strings on concerts featuring symphonic literature.

  • 1990

    Town and Country Food Stores support the July 3rd Pops Concert with a $15,000 Corporate Sponsorship. 14,000 attended this concert.

  • 1991

    Performed the monumental work, Mahler: Symphony No. 2, the “Resurrection”. Town & Country Food Stores increase funding for July 4th Concert to $20,000. The Endowment total value: $500,000+.

  • 1992

    Orchestra and Chorale perform Berloiz: Requiem. First season- Opening concert pair saw a total audience of 2,000.

  • 1993

    Symphony receives state-wide and national publicity and recognition for its youth programs and the July 3rd Pops concert. Attendance for July 3rd was an estimated 20,000.

  • 1994

    Orchestra and Chorale perform Beethoven: Missa Solemnis. Tim Forrester is employed as Manager and Marketing Director beginning a new era and focus on marketing and promotion.

  • 1996

    Gene Chartier Smith retires – Search for new conductor begins.

  • 1997

    Ron Spigelman becomes 5th conductor.

  • 1998 - 1999

    The SASO completes its 50th Anniversary season.

  • 2002

    Hector Guzman is named the 6th music Director and Conductor, in addition to his posts with the Plano Symphony and Irving Symphony Orchestras.

  • 2004

    The San Angelo Symphony performs its first run-out concert in Sonora, Texas.

  • 2005

    The San Angelo Symphony Guild celebrates its 50th Anniversary. The San Angelo Symphony hosts the Symphony of Horses, a unique event chronicling the evolution and history of the horse.

  • 2006

    At the February Concert, the San Angelo Symphony hosted the Texas premiere of a new work by living composer Joan Tower as a part of the Ford Made In America Consortium Project. Ms. Tower traveled to San Angelo to conduct her piece, “Made In America.”

  • 2012

    The San Angelo Symphony Society initiates a contest in search of a new logo and selects a design showcasing the connection between the orchestra members and the audience in relation to seating, lighting, and venue. Symphony plays its 25th Anniversary performance of July 3rd Pops concert, sharing the quarter-century mark with the River Stage.

  • 2014 - 2015

    The SASO completes its 65th Anniversary season.

  • 2016

    Van Cliburn Silver Winner, Sean Chen, performs with the SASO in March and Gold Van Cliburn winner, Alexander Kobrin, performs with the SASO in October.

  • 2017

    The Symphony hosts The Culinary Challenge, a unique event involving community chefs and community partners. The Symphony orchestra plays the 30th Anniversary performance of July 3rd Pops concert at the Riverstage.

  • 2017 - 2018

    The San Angelo Symphony opens its 68th year of live performances in the newly renovated Elta Joyce Murphey Performance Hall and Stage at City Auditorium. The hall will be known as The Murphey.

  • 2018 - 2019

    The Symphony features the San Angelo Symphony Chorus at the Holiday Pops Concert. The Chorus is made up of community volunteers and Symphony Board members.

  • 2019

    The Symphony hosts the 2nd annual Culinary Challenge and names Chef Earl Mulley of Halfmann’s Cake Cottage the winner.

  • 2019 - 2020

    The Symphony celebrates its 70th anniversary of live orchestral performance with The Platinum Season.

  • 2021

    The Symphony debuts the Gaelic Symphony composed by Amy
    Beach at the opening concert, Women In Art & Music. Local artist and Arts
    in Uncommon Places co-founder, Julie Raymond, paints live on the stage
    alongside the orchestra.

  • Symphony Staff

    Board of Directors

    Board of Directors

    From left to right: Candis Hicks, Michelle Vanderzant, Rachel Brown, Michelle Chinn, Louellen Meyer, Janet Caskey, Camille Huchton, Mary Ellen Hartje, Bill Proctor, Barbara Rallo, Beauty Minix, Janie DeLaney, Ellen McDonald, Janie Smith, Meredythe McGlothlin, Rebecca...

    Maestro

    Maestro

    Music Director & Conductor A recipient of the 2012 “For the Love of Art” Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2012 “Man of the Year” award by New York-based Madison’s Who is Who, and the 2014 Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity’s National Arts Associate...

    Office Staff

    Office Staff

    Courtney Mahaffey Executive Director director@sanangelosymphony.org   Jill Nagle Finance Associate finance@sanangelosymphony.org   David Phillips Music LibrarianRocio Moncibais Marketing & Education Associate assistant@sanangelosymphony.org   Amber Carr Office...

    Musicians

    Strings

    Violin I
    Choung Vu, Concertmaster
    Hubert Pralitz, Associate Concertmaster
    Marina Dichenko
    Leihlani Garcia Tamez
    Sarah Figueroa

    Violin II
    Bethany Wildes, Principal
    Klauida Cop
    Crissanti Garcia Tamez
    Christine Binzel
    Samiel Rolim de Souza Araujo
    Christopher Djinov

    Viola
    Stephen Beall, Principal
    Laurielle Warren
    Iva Raykova
    Hollie Dzierzanowski
    Oscar Rendon
    Amberlee Reynolds

    Cello
    Laura Ospina, Principal
    Shengni (Nini) Rubiano
    Alexander Djinov
    Benjamin Katzen
    Aurelia Rocha
    Ya-Chen (Jessy) Lee

    Bass
    Robert Marrufo, Principal
    Peng Wang
    Ian Grems

    Wind

    Flute
    Sara Raviotta, Principal
    Mary Alice Hubbert
    Kathleen Dunn (Piccolo)

    Oboe
    Susanna Hilliard, Principal
    Max Adler
    Cathy Fowlkes (English Horn)

    Clarinet
    David Phillips, Principal
    Sandra Fajardo
    Chastine Hofmeister (Bass Clarinet)

    Bassoon
    Janelle Ott, Principal
    Robert Rumph

    Brass

    Horn
    Howard Hilliard, Principal
    Brandon Stewart
    Benjamin Raviotta
    Janet Nye

    Trumpet
    John Irish, Principal
    John Kennedy
    Nickolas Martinez

    Trombone
    Tony Bianchetta, Principal
    Jonathan Gill
    Michael Lawson (Bass Trombone)

    Tuba
    Jeffrey Cottrell, Principal

    Percussion

    Timpani
    James Bode, Principal

    Percussion
    Jeffrey Keene, Principal
    Caleb Lenard
    Nathan Garcia

    Auditions

    Offering the only orchestral music within a one-hundred mile radius, the San Angelo Symphony is made up of over ninety talented musicians.
    Auditioning for the San Angelo Symphony:
    To be considered for an invitation to audition, candidates should submit a resume and a video or recording showcasing their abilities.

    Audition Date: TBD