For more than 50 years, the Valley Symphony Orchestra has stayed true to its mission of inspiring the community with quality performances and educational programs.
Symphony is Diverse
The symphony presents a dozen concerts over the course of a season at various locations across the Rio Grande Valley. The shows embody a variety of different musical genres and themes.
“The music performed by the symphony represents times and places that span generations from around the world,” says Fawn Foudray-Golich, community development director for the symphony. “The symphony performs great music from each generation, including contemporary and Latin music,” she says.
One of the most popular events is the holiday concert that is held each December. This concert, which features the Valley Symphony Chorale, typically sells out. “It is a great start to the holiday season and has become a tradition for many Valley families,” Foudray-Golich says.
The symphony musicians get involved with the community by performing regularly at assisted living, rehabilitation and hospital facilities. “For those who can't attend evening performances, the in-facility ensembles help lighten spirits,” Foudray-Golich says.
In addition to sharing the gift of music with the community, the symphony also reaches out to area youth through music education.
The Valley Symphony Orchestra sponsors the South Texas Youth Symphony, which is composed of 75 high school and middle school musicians from across the region.
“The youth symphony allows student musicians to study with the VSO's maestro, Peter Dabrowski, and perform at a high level with a full orchestra,” Foudray-Golich says. “Student musicians develop self-discipline, artistic expression and leadership skills.”
The youth symphony rehearses weekly throughout the school year to prepare for two concert performances held in January and May. Youth symphony musicians who perform with the youth symphony during their senior year of high school are eligible for college scholarships provided by the Valley Symphony Orchestra.
One of the Valley Symphony Orchestra’s more innovative programs is geared toward even younger students. The Success Thru Strings program, launched in 2008, gives first-graders the opportunity to study the violin.
“This program is designed to make violin lessons available to local students regardless of family income,” Foudray-Golich says. “Young children learn very quickly. It is age appropriate and fun. Through a weekly private lesson and group lessons, they learn how to play a very difficult instrument, with great technique.”
The symphony sponsors many other educational opportunities such as concerts held for area elementary students, classes and workshops with symphony artists, and they provide concert tickets to students for little or no cost.
“The symphony is a vital part of our community,” Foudray-Golich says. “Each concert and program is designed to inspire audience members, students and musicians alike.”