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.

  • Staff

    Board of Directors

    Board of Directors

    Board of DirectorsMr. Luke BrameMrs. Janet CaskeyMrs. Eva ChoateMrs. Janie DeLaneyMrs. Val FrankDr. Mary Ellen HartjeMs. Candis HicksMrs. Camille HuchtonMrs. Deanne HumeDr. Sharon KuligDr. Daniel LuiMrs. Betty (BJ) MayerMrs. Jenice MazurMrs. Ellen McDonaldMrs. Trish...

    Director

    Director

    Music Director 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 award, Maestro...

    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   TBD 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

    Join Us

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    San Angelo Symphony Guild

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    Venue Seating Charts

    The Elta Joyce Murphey Hall and Stage
    at City Auditorium

    Stephen Arena Junell Center
    at Angelo State Univesity

    FAQ’s

    Can I bring food and drink to the concert?

    While food and drink are not allowed in the Murphey Performance Hall, they are
    permitted in the lobby area. Symphony Belles and Beaux provide complimentary
    water during intermission at each Symphony concert held in the Murphey
    Performance Hall. Drinks are permitted in the Angelo State University Junell Center.

    Can I bring my child to the concert? Does my child need a ticket?

    The San Angelo Symphony encourages families to attend our concerts and special events. We are proud to offer a multitude of events for families to choose from. Both single and season tickets are available for children 12 and under. Children ages 2 and under do not need a ticket as long as they remain in the lap of an adult. As a reminder for parents, not all events will be best suited for the entire family. For more information, please call the Symphony office at (325) 658-5877.

    Do you offer reserved seating?

    The San Angelo Symphony offers reserved seating through season subscriptions and for
    individual performances in the Murphey Performance Hall and the Angelo State University
    Junell Center. Click here to learn about the different options. For more information, please
    call the Symphony office at (325) 658-5877.

    What do I wear to the concert?

    Church or business attire is recommended, but not required at regular concerts. The attire for the April Pops Concert tends to be more formal while the July Pops Concert is an outdoor event and casual. For details on attire for Symphony Special Events, please call the Symphony office at (325) 658-5877.

    When I go to a concert I am not sure when to applaud. When is it appropriate to applaud?
    It is most appropriate to applaud at the end of a piece. Sometimes a musical work may have several sections. If you are ever unsure of when to clap, a good rule of thumb is to wait until the conductor turns to face the audience.
    When can I get tickets?

    Tickets are available at the Symphony Office located at 72 West College Ave on the mezzanine level, or on our website. You can also purchase tickets by calling our office at 325-658-5877.

    What is the San Angelo Symphony's refund policy?

    Ticket Refund Policy

    Individual ticket sales, Dinner Series, and Special Event Reservations: All sales are final and tickets/reservations are non-refundable.

    Can’t use your ticket? If you can’t attend a concert and you’re unable to find a friend who will use your ticket(s), you may donate back to the Symphony no later than 5pm on Friday of the concert weekend. You can call the Symphony office at (325) 658-5877. We will issue a tax-deductible donation receipt for your donation. We’ll make every effort to re-sell your unused ticket. Please give us as much notice as possible.

    Please note: we are unable to accept unused tickets as donations after the concert has begun, or the following week.

    Season subscriptions: Season subscriptions are non-refundable and all sales are final. If you experience a rare life-event, such as moving out of the area or illness, we may make an exception to the rule on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us using the contact form on this site, and we’ll review the case.

    Tax-deductible donations: Tax-deductible donations and gifts are non-refundable.

    Lost your ticket? No problem. We’ll reprint one for you at no charge. You can call the Symphony office at (325) 658-5877 and we will hold it at Will Call on the evening of the performance.

    What are the Symphony's Box Office and Online Ticket Fees?

    Box Office and Online Ticket Fees

    The following fees apply when you order tickets or subscriptions online:

    Box Office Ticket Orders: A per-ticket box office fee is charged and passed along to the consumer. The San Angelo Symphony charges an additional $0.50 processing fee to each order.

    Online Ticket Orders: A per-ticket online convenience fee is charged and passed along to the consumer. The San Angelo Symphony charges an additional $3 processing fee to each order.

    Online Subscription Orders: A per-subscription online convenience fee is charged and passed along to you the consumer. The San Angelo Symphony charges an additional $5 processing fee to each order.

    NSF Policy: A $35 charge will be incurred by the patron for any check returned to the SASS. This amount must be paid in cash in person at the Symphony office.

    Where is the Murphey Performance Hall? (Keen revist this one)

    The City Auditorium is located in City Hall, downtown San Angelo, on 72 W. College. For more information, click here.

    Where is the April Pops Concert? (Keen)

    The April Pops Concert takes place at the Junell Center located on Angelo State University’s campus. For more information, click here.

    When is the July Pops Concert?
    The July Pops Concert is an annual event held on July 3rd. Gates to the Bill Aylor Sr. Memorial RiverStage open at 12pm on July 3rd. The Community Band begins at 7pm followed by the San Angelo Symphony and Fireworks at 8:30pm.
    I have purchased a table at the Pops Concert. Do I need to have a ticket for each of my guests?

    Yes, each person sitting at the table will need to have their own concert ticket. Tables and tickets are sold at the Symphony office. For more information, please call the Symphony office at (325) 658-5877.

    Can I bring food and drinks to July's Pops Concert?

    Yes, you are welcome to bring your own food and drinks, including alcoholic beverages. No glass containers will be permitted in the RiverStage area. Concession stands are open for your convenience as well.

    Can I bring my dog to July's Pops Concert?

    Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed at the RiverStage. 

    Why are the blankets set up prior to the RiverStage gates opening at 12pm?
    July Pops Concert Sponsors, City workers, Goodfellow personnel, July Pops Committee Members, and various other July Pops volunteers are given permission to set out their blankets before the gates open as a special thank you from the San Angelo Symphony for their countless hours of service and dedication.
    When can I put down my blanket and lawn chairs in the Riverstage?

    The gates to the RiverStage Park open at 12pm on July 3rd and concert goers are encouraged to lay their blankets out from then on. Blankets may be secured with items that can easily be removed and do not pose a walking hazard. Every year the San Angelo Symphony Belles and Beaux sell sandbags 4/$1 to help secure your blanket.

    How do I get a seat in the Reserved Seat section at the Riverstage?

    The Symphony provides a select group of Reserved Seats for purchase on the concrete slab and in the terraced section just behind the slab. Reserved Seat tickets range in price from $15-$35 each. Tickets may be purchased at the San Angelo Symphony Office. For more information, please call (325) 658-5877.

    Where can I park downtown to get to the RiverStage easily?
    Free parking is available at the McNease Convention Center. The Symphony provides a free shuttle service running to and from those locations and the RiverStage. The shuttles begin running at 6:00 pm and conclude at 11:00 pm.
    I am not able to make it to the RiverStage for the show. How else can I enjoy the concert?
    Have no fear! The San Angelo Symphony’s July Pops Concert is broadcast simultaneously on KWFR 101.9 FM and KCSA 97.1 FM for your listening pleasure.
    What happens if it rains? Is the fireworks show canceled?

    While rain in San Angelo during the summer months is not typical, it has been known to shower during our July Pops Concert in years past. Typically, the concert and fireworks show are unaffected by a light shower. In the event of severe weather, the concert may be relocated and the fireworks show may be canceled. Please contact the San Angelo Symphony with any weather-related questions at (325) 658-5877.

    Will there be a flyover this year?

    Each year the Symphony requests permission for a military flyover. As each year is different, we cannot guarantee the July Pops Concert will feature a flyover.