The mission of the San Angelo Symphony Society is to inspire, engage and educate diverse audiences through the experience of the highest quality orchestral music.
San Angelo Symphony Historical Timeline
1949 - July - Initial organization of the San Angelo Symphony Society. November - 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 established, continued annually, and in 1965 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 - Gene Chartier Smith was employed on a full time basis as managing Director and Conductor.
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 4th 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 4th 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 4th 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.
2004 - Maestro Guzman is awarded the post of Music Director of the Orchestra Philharmonic of Jalisco after winning a prestigious conducting competition.
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 Pops sharing the quarter century mark with the River Stage.
2014-2015 - The SASO completes its 65th Anniversary season.