Sweet sounds: September marks start to new ASO season

Published 7:01 am Sunday, August 31, 2014

By Margo Bissen

This is the first installment of a monthly column by Margo Bissen and other promoters to promote the Austin Symphony Orchestra.

School buses, football games, cool September days — all harbingers of another school year and a new season for the Austin Symphony Orchestra (ASO). This monthly column will keep you informed of the musical experiences the ASO has to offer.

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The ASO was founded by a group of area musicians in 1957. Charter members desired to share their talents with others, to hone their musical skills and to help young musicians do the same. And that continues to be the mission of the ASO: “to bring symphonic music to the Austin area, providing enjoyment and enhancing musical appreciation and knowledge; to provide an avenue of artistic growth to regional performers and to encourage continual musical study for area musicians.”

Future columns will provide historical tidbits and interesting information about the ASO, but today, the focus is on our exciting, upcoming season and the opportunities available for you to be part of the music making.

Under the direction of Steve Ramsey, the ASO will celebrate its 58th season with the theme “The Sweet Sounds of Harmony.”  Concerts will bring a variety of music and musicians to the Austin area. In partnership with Mariachi Nuevo de Las Vegas, we’ll begin our season on Sunday, Oct. 26, featuring some of the finest Mariachi musicians from around the country. Audience members will hear traditional and modern Mariachi classics, music by Marquez, Lecuono, Stan Kenton and others in an afternoon of Latin Sizzle!

“Christmas Magic” on Dec. 14, will feature both the Adult Symphony Chorus and a Children’s Chorus in a festival of seasonal selections. On Feb. 22, the ASO will collaborate with The Galactic Cowboy Orchestra in a concert titled “The Wild, Wild West.” And “Beethoven Bash II” will conclude the season on April 12. The final concert will showcase the talents of pianist Fei Fei Dong, and the ASO performing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. It promises to be another grand year of symphonic music in the Austin area.

How do you become involved with your area symphony orchestra? Dust off that instrument and set up an audition. (Contact Laura Larson: 507.396.2061)  Sing with the Adult Symphony Chorus. (Contact Sonia Larson: 507.433.8719) Encourage the young musician in fourth, fifth or sixth grade to participate in the Children’s Chorus. (Contact Margo Bissen: 507-433-6138) And most important, purchase a season ticket.

Season tickets are a wonderful value. Students in K-12 are admitted free to all concerts. Adult season ticket passes can be purchased for $50, a mere $12.50 per concert. New subscribers get a half price deal — $25 for four concerts! Passes for college students and senior citizens are $40.  To obtain your pass to this season of symphonic music visit our website: www.austinmnsymphony.org.

The ASO receives donations from the Hormel Foundation, the Austin Area Foundation, The City of Austin, SEMAC and donors like you. We are grateful for these gifts and grants as they ensure the success of our orchestra.

The next column will spotlight the “Mariachi” experience. Mark your calendars for Sunday, Oct. 26.  This is a concert you’ll want to attend.