December 2020

Philip Mann, TSO Music Director

The TSO is the parent organization of the Texarkana Youth Symphony Orchestra (TYSO), whose conductor is Steve Bennett. The inception began with 20 members and now over 40 students audition for a chance to be part of this program annually. It is the only ensemble of its kind in the area. Students get the benefit of growing as a musician while performing twice a year in a professional atmosphere. The Junior League of Texarkana made a $100,000 donation on its 80th anniversary to promote this youth symphony program. Besides performing their own concerts, the students can experience the chance of a lifetime to sit side by side with a professional musician in a performance at the historic Perot Theatre. TSO musicians and staff provide educational outreach programs to schools, community clubs, and civic organizations. Teacher and student activity packets are available for classroom use, relating composers and repertoire to other curriculum studies. In-school programs provide an outlet for area youth to interact with professional artists and discuss careers and education and address technical and musical challenges. Performing primarily in the beautiful and historic Perot Theatre, the Symphony presents a series of classical masterworks, symphonic pops, and educational concerts during its season. An average of 700 persons from South Arkansas, East Texas, and North Louisiana regularly attend the concerts. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, they have had to reschedule performances in the latter part of the 2020 season. The TSO’s 15th season began on November 7, with social distancing and carefully plotted seating. The theatre will observe a 25% capacity limit in attendance to follow CDC guidelines. A list of future concerts is available on the official Texarkana Symphony Orchestra website. Whether it is a string ensemble for a university choral performance, a quartet for the unveiling of a visual arts exhibit or the full orchestra for your 50th anniversary, the symphony is ready to match your audience with great classical, pops, chamber, or family repertoire.



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