Austin Symphony Orchestra turning 60

Published 5:07 pm Sunday, October 9, 2016

The Austin Symphony Orchestra will start its 60th anniversary season starting with a concert called, “Heroes,” at 2 p.m. on Oct. 30 in Austin High School’s Knowlton Auditorium.

ASO board Vice President Morgan Dickman described the show as a great way to start the year with great music people will know and recognize, with several selections from movies.

“I’m really excited about that, because that can be a good kickoff for the year,” she said.

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The Matchbox Children’s Theatre will be featured in this concert as they act out the parts to “Peter and the Wolf” by Prokofiev. Other selections include “Night on Bald Mountain,” John Williams’ “The Superman March,” “Batman” by Danny Elfman and other orchestral treats.

Dickman hopes the season’s inaugural show and other shows will attract people to shows who’ve never attended any before. Dickman described ASO as a great asset for Austin, and she said the show will bring together traditional classical music with newer pieces from movies.

ASO conductor Stephen Ramsey looks through the music during rehearsal at the Austin High School annex. Photo provided

ASO conductor Stephen Ramsey looks through the music during rehearsal at the Austin High School annex. Photo provided

On Oct. 31, area children in grades 4, 5, and 6 will be invited to attend a shortened version of “Heroes” the following morning at 9 and 10:45 a.m. for a costume party.

Then ASO will perform “Christmas Past, Present, and Future” on Dec. 11 with the Children’s Chorus from the MacPhail School of Music.

Dickman was pleased to give the MacPhail students a chance to perform with the adult orchestra, noting it’s a big deal for them.

The show will feature holiday classics and popular pieces.

Then on Feb. 26, ASO will perform a concert called “Remembrance” featuring hometown violinist Richard Roberts, who is now the Concertmaster of the Montreal Symphony.

That show will center on great symphony music and will look back at ASO’s roots.

“Kind of going back to where were started from, really those core people,” Dickman said.

Roberts will be featured on Mendelssohn’s “Violin Concerto,” and the concert will take place in a venue the orchestra has never visited before: St. Olaf Lutheran Church.

Members of the Austin Symphony Orchestra rehearse. Photo provided

Members of the Austin Symphony Orchestra rehearse. Photo provided

The season culminates with a concert to celebrate 60 years called “Homecoming” on May 7 at Knowlton Auditorium.

“I’m super excited about that one,” Dickman said.

Anyone who has ever played with the orchestra will be invited to play again. The concert will feature ever-popular pianists Roberto Plano and Paola Del Negro on a Bruch “Concerto for Two Pianos.” The orchestra will also play the soothing and familiar “New World Symphony” and Dvorak’s “Symphony No. 9.”

Dickman notes that other organizers are working hard to get as many past performers back for that show as possible, and she said this helps express how everyone who has been a part of ASO over the years plays an important role and has put their stamp on it in some way.

“It’s not just one person, … everybody that’s been a part of it has been important,” Dickman said.

Dickman is a new member to the ASO board and she is enjoying being a part of the musical ensemble.

“To know that I’m a small part of it is exciting,” Dickman said.

Season tickets are now on sale at and online donations are also welcome. Brochures and tickets will go out by mail in the following weeks.

ASO 2016-17 season

1. “Heroes”

2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 30

Featuring the Matchbox Children’s Theater

9 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 31, (Children’s Concerts and Costume Party) at Knowlton Auditorium

Beethoven: “Fidelio Overture”

Prokofiev: “Peter and the Wolf”

Falla: “Ritual Fire Dance” from “El amor brujo”

Kabalevsky: “Colas Breugnon Overture”

Mussorgsky: “Night on Bald Mountain”

Tan Dun: “The Eternal Vow” from “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”

Williams: “Superman March”

Elfman: “Batman”

2. “Christmas Past, Present, and Future”

Sunday, Dec. 11

With the MacPhail Children’s Chorus and Mark Woeste, tuba

Prokofiev: “Troika from Lt. Kije”

Amundson: “Angel’s Dance”

Kallman: “Messiah Prince of Peace from Meditation”

Woeste: “Frosty the Snowman. A Tuba Fantasy”

Stephenson: “Holiday Medley Fanfare No. 1”

3. “Remembrance”

(In memory of our orchestral forebears)

Richard Roberts, Violin (Concertmaster of the Montreal Symphony)

2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 26, at St. Olaf Lutheran Church

Sylvester: “An American Hero”

Mendelssohn: “Violin Concerto,” Richard Roberts, Violin

Faure: “Requiem”

4. Homecoming

(An Orchestra Reunion)

Roberto Plano and Paola del Negro, duo Pianists

2 p.m. on Sunday, May 7, at Knowlton Auditorium

Amundson: “Sola Gratia”

Bruch: “Concerto for 2 Pianos”

Dvorak: “Symphony No. 9” (From “The New World”)