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UPDATE! 9-16-20

THE LIVE AT THE LAKE CONCERT PLANNED FOR 9-17-20 HAS BEEN CANCELLED!

Due to the current restrictions in place by the City of Wichita Falls, the Live at the Lake concert with the WFSO has been cancelled.  The event was scheduled to take place at the Museum of Art at MSU’s Priddy Pavilion on Sept. 17.  In order to keep our patrons and musicians safe, the WFSO and MSU Museum of Art has made the decision to cancel this outdoor event.  

Please watch for updates this fall about events happening with the WFSO. Season tickets for our Spring Concert Season go on sale in October! 

 

Updated 7-10-2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 WICHITA FALLS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA DELAYS START OF 2020/2021 SEASON  Wichita Falls, TX (July 13, 2020)

 The Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra will delay the start of the 2020-2021 concert season due to the challenges and uncertainties created by COVID-19. “This was a difficult decision but one we believe allows us the best opportunity to sustain our organization through the current crisis, fulfill our mission to promote symphonic music in the Texoma community, and be well-positioned to recover quickly,” stated WFSO Board President, Elizabeth Yeager.

 WFSO Executive Director Alicia Deges says, “Our top priority has to be the health and safety of our patrons, musicians and staff. Our current plan is to begin our concert season in January 2021 with a full concert at Memorial Auditorium that includes plans to allow for safe social distancing for our musicians and our audience.” This decision was the result of careful consideration of a number of financial, logistical, and health and safety factors. Among these challenges included the state’s June 3 reopening guidelines limiting performance halls to 50% capacity and the requirement for socially distanced seating for orchestra musicians and audience members. The spring season will include adapted education programs and subscription concerts in January, February, and April. Plans are being made for alternative performance opportunities for WFSO musicians, including small ensemble performances at different venues in the community. The WFSO also hopes to present a chamber group at The Priddy Pavilion on September 17, 2020 as part of the Live at the Lake Concert series.  “The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on our musicians, many of whom rely solely on performances at concerts like ours. They have lost virtually all of that income,” said Deges. “Financial contributions from our loyal patrons will be more crucial now than ever to make our 2020-2021 season possible. Annual Fund contributions can be made now either online or by mail.”

 Yeager says, “Our goal is the long-term sustainability of the WFSO. By preserving our capital today, we expect to celebrate our 75th anniversary in 2021-2022 with a full season of outstanding symphonic music.”  WFSO patrons can expect season ticket renewals to begin in October 2020 and will have the opportunity to confirm their subscription with season ticket holders receiving first priority for seating. 

Inquiries regarding subscriptions and ticket sales may be directed to WFSO Box Office Manager, Jenny Oliver at 940-723-6202 or via email at info@wfso.org.  Other inquiries can be made by contacting WFSO Executive Director Alicia Deges at 940-723-6202 or via email at wfsoed@wfso.org. 

 

May 29, 2020 —  Dear family and friends of the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra,

In an effort to be responsible with our resources and faithful to our mission, the Wichita Falls Symphony board or directors has made the difficult decision to cancel the rescheduled concert on August 15, 2020.  The uncertainty of holding a large gathering and the amount of planning and resources required to do that will just not allow us to move forward with the concert. Though this news is disappointing, the health and safety of our musicians, patrons, and staff is our first priority.  Please consider donating the cost of your tickets for a tax deduction or allowing the value of the tickets to be used as a credit next season.  This would greatly assist us during this challenging period when we are unable to provide concerts. 

While we are unable to perform at Memorial Auditorium, the WFSO is working hard to find creative ways to keep the music alive.  We invite you to tune in to our new weekly music playlist, Legato in times of Staccato at  http://www.wfso.org/2019/05/02/legato-in-times-of-staccato/ .  Also be sure to follow our social media channels for updates and ways to connect with us while we are apart.   Please stay safe and healthy.  We look forward to being back with you in the concert hall very soon.

TICKETING OPTIONS

We hope that you will consider exchanging or donating your tickets and have several convenient options:

Donate your ticket.  Your tax-deductible donation will help the Wichita Falls Symphony fulfill its mission and is especially appreciated during this time of uncertainty.

Exchange your ticket. We would love for you to join us at a future performance in the 20-21 concert season.

Receive credit on your account. Unsure of which concert you would like to exchange for? We will place your funds on your account for future use.

For other ticketing options, please contact the WFSO office via email at info@wfso.org or by phone (940)723-6202.

Sincerely,

Alicia Deges

Executive Director

Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra

 

4-29-20 — Dear Friends of the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra,

During these unprecedented times when we cannot gather in person, we are constantly exploring ways that we as an organization can connect with you. In looking to the future, we will make decisions based upon two overriding guiding principles. First and foremost, we will do everything we can to protect the health and safety of our musicians, patrons, and staff. Second, we will strive to ensure that the mission of the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra is upheld and sustained. For us, this means commitment to promoting music that enriches our lives, educates our students, and entertains our audiences.

We have spent a great deal of time discussing the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic downturn, and the impact that both have on the WFSO. While this disruption is significant, and will undoubtedly require a lengthy recovery, we are confident that we will come out of this stronger than before. The WFSO has been a leading cultural force in Texoma for almost 75 years and our foundation remains firm. We are grateful for the continued support of our donors and patrons. Decades of strong board leadership have ensured that we have a solid foundation to withstand financial stresses while maintaining our commitment to artistic excellence and providing our region with inspiring symphonic music.

To date, the leadership of the WFSO has taken focused action to ensure the safety of our patrons and our musicians: 

  • We have rescheduled our April 2020 concert to August 15, 2020.
  • We continue to monitor and reassess our upcoming season to ensure the safety and health of our musicians and audiences. To that end we are considering a number of options such as social distancing within Memorial Auditorium and streaming concerts online in real time.

Although, at this moment, we are disappointed that we cannot share live music with you we remain optimistic about our future. The adversity we are facing today will almost certainly usher in opportunities for new and creative ideas that will allow us to continue to engage and connect with you. Our shared love of great symphonic music will without a doubt carry us through this difficult and challenging time. 

We are grateful for your ongoing support and treasure your commitment to the WFSO throughout the years. We look forward to better days and a brighter future.

 

Fouad Fakhouri                                 Alicia Deges                                        Elizabeth Yeager

Music Director                                   Executive Director                           Board President

Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra

 

 

Updated 3-30-20, 3:15PM

Dear Friends of the WFSO:

We are all sharing a world that is very different than it was just several weeks ago, and it’s changing by the day. However, we are optimistic that we will return to the stage at Memorial Auditorium for our 20/21 season!

Last week we shared with you our plan to postpone the final concert of the season which was scheduled to take place on April 18th. We will continue to closely monitor updates and recommendations from our public health officials regarding the status of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on our future performances.

At this time, the WFSO is looking to reschedule the “Brilliantly Orchestrated” concert on August 15, 2020. We will communicate more details as soon as they become available. If you are a current season ticket holder, your 2019-20 season ticket will be honored at the rescheduled concert.

Anyone who purchased single tickets to the April concert can:

~Retain your tickets for the rescheduled concert;

~Donate your tickets and receive a tax deduction for the total ticket value;

~Receive a refund for the value of your ticket.

For assistance, please contact us by email at info@wfso.org, by phone at 940-723-6202.

We are thankful that you — our patrons, donors, and friends — have helped us prepare for this challenging time. Your ongoing connection to and support of our organization through the years has helped make us who we are today and prepared us to meet this enormous challenge. While we are well-positioned, we all know that we are facing uncharted territory and uncertainty about what the future may bring. February marked the beginning of our Annual Fund Campaign which raises vital funds for the incredible concerts we bring to the community each season. We hope that you will continue to support the WFSO even now as planning is underway for our 20/21 season.

Yours,

Alicia Deges

Executive Director

Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra

 

Updated 3-25-20, 12:00PM

Our Office is Temporarily Closed March 23 – April 6, 2020

In order to protect the health and safety of our patrons, musicians, and staff – and comply with local, federal and state recommendations, the Wichita Falls Symphony staff will be working remotely between March 23 and April 6.

During this period, you are invited to leave a telephone message for the office at 940-723-6202 or send us an email message at info@wfso.org.  Our staff will respond as soon as they can. During these challenging times, we encourage everyone to follow the CDC‘s guidelines and be safe.

At the end of the two weeks, we will evaluate and determine the next steps based on the advice of our health authorities.

 

Updated 3-16-20, 4:30PM

Dear Friends of the WFSO:

Due to the rapidly changing situation surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States, the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra is postponing our April 18, 2020 concert, Brilliantly Orchestrated, with guest pianist Andrey Ponochevny. More information will made available to patrons via email, phone, social media, and posted on our website, www.wfso.org. In the meantime, please hold on to your tickets.

While our concerts and programs are crucial to the fulfillment of our mission, we are most concerned for the health and well-being of our patrons, orchestra musicians, and staff. We ask that you follow CDC guidelines for preventing the spread of this virus and be vigilant in seeking information from trusted sources.

We look forward to bringing music to the stage of Memorial Auditorium as soon as possible. Thank you for your continued support during this challenging time.

Yours,
Alicia Deges
Executive Director

 
 

Music has an amazing way to connect people in any circumstance.  There is something about it that seems to bring us closer together when we listen, play or sing together. While we cannot be with you in person at the concert hall through this storm, we are committed to find other ways to connect.  We will provide a weekly play list for you, “Legato in times of Staccato”, curated by Music Director, Fouad Fakhouri.  Simply click on each of the titles on the list below to view a special music selection. Also included each week is a Spotify playlist for you to enjoy all the selections together. 
 We invite you to participate each week by sending us music (from any genre) that you have found comforting and uplifting. We hope that through music we can encourage each other through these uncertain times. Send your play list additions to us at info@wfso.org. Preferable formats are YouTube and Sound Cloud clips, or just share the title and artist or composer and we will do our best to find it!

 

Playlist #25 – Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020

   Curated by Music Director, Fouad Fakhouri 

The Music of John Williams

 

Tuba Concerto

Trumpet Concerto

Cello Concerto: I. Theme & Cadenza

Empire of the Sun – Suite

The Accidental Tourist – Theme

Born on the Fourth of July

Home Alone – Soundtrack Suite

Suite from JFK

Nixon – The 1960’s: The Turbulent Years

Minority Report – Anderton’s Great Escape

The Adventures of Tintin – Theme

Catch Me If You Can

Schindler’s List – Jewish Town Krakow Ghetto, Winter ’41

The Terminal – A Legend is Born

Artificial Intelligence – Hide and Seek

Munich – Prayer for Peace

Memoirs of a Geisha – Becoming a Geisha

Harry Potter – Hagrid the Professor

Seven Years in Tibet – Main Theme

The Patriot – Main Theme

 

 

***To access the full Spotify playlist for week #25, click here!***

 

Previous Playlists

 
 

Quiet Heroes – Salute to the Armed Forces with special guest narrator, Wilford Brimley.

November 11, 2017 at Memorial Auditorium, 1300 7th Street, Wichita Falls, TX 

Gould: American Salute

Williams: Liberty Fanfare

Jager: Esprit de Corps

Williams: Midway March

Brubeck: Quiet Heroes: A Symphonic Salute to the Flagraisers at Iwo Jima

Lowden: Armed Forces Salute

 

 
 

October 14,  2017~ New Beginnings with Fouad Fakhouri 

Memorial Auditorium, 7:30 pm, 1300 7th, Wichita Falls, TX

Mozart: Overture from Le nozze di Figaro

Marquez: Danzon No. 2

Stravinsky: The Firebird Suite

Brahms: Symphony No. 1

 

 
 

OCTOBER 14,2017

Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra

NOVEMBER 11, 2017

Veterans Day Concert with the WFSO

DECEMBER 16, 2017

Canadian Brass with the WFSO

FEBRUARY 24, 2018

Dr. Martin Camacho, piano with the WFSO

APRIL 14, 2018

Pixar in Concert with the WFSO

 
 

Wichita Falls, Texas (March 28, 2017) – The Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra (WFSO) has named Fouad Fakhouri as its next Music Director and Conductor effective June 1, 2017. The Search Committee chose Fakhouri after an 18-month-long international search.

Maestro Fakhouri will take the podium on Saturday, October 14, 2017, as the orchestra opens its 70th season. “For me this is similar to a homecoming. Having spent a significant amount of time in Texas, it is wonderful to get back and contribute to the state that I practically grew up in,” said Fakhouri, who was educated at West Texas A&M University and the University of North Texas. “I felt a genuine, almost immediate, connection with the musicians and was thrilled by their high level of professionalism, commitment, and dedication to the art of music making,” said Fakhouri of his work with the WFSO in February.

With over two decades of international credits as a conductor and composer, Fouad Fakhouri is committed to actively engaging with audiences through powerful artistic experiences. Known for his “musical accuracy” and “emotional intensity,” his performances have been celebrated for their broad, dynamic and powerful interpretations, which go beyond the score to capture both the essence and spirit of the music.

Kristen Van Cleve, WFSO Concertmaster, said, “I am thrilled that Fouad Fakhouri has agreed to be the next Music Director of the Wichita Falls Symphony. Maestro Fakhouri demonstrated skill, musicianship and understanding of the art of conducting when he led the symphony in February. I am looking forward with great anticipation to working with him during the 2017/18 season – this is an exciting time for the WFSO!”

In June 2016, Fakhouri was named Music Director of the Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra (Michigan). From 2004 – 2016 Fakhouri served as Music Director and Conductor of the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra (North Carolina). Previous appointments include Principal Guest Conductor of the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra (North Carolina) as well as Music Director and Conductor of the Greensboro Symphony Youth Orchestra where he led the orchestra on its first international tour to Austria and Germany. He continues to be in high demand as a guest conductor. Among his many recent appearances are the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra (Lebanon), Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (New York), Cairo Symphony Orchestra (Egypt) and the Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra (Sophia, Bulgaria).

In addition to conducting, Fakhouri is an active composer of a multitude of symphonic, chamber, choral and solo music. His works have been premiered and performed by the English Chamber Orchestra (UK), the Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra, the Mediterranean Orchestra (Italy) and the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra to name a few.

Fakhouri hails from a musical family whose roots go back four generations. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in Composition from the University of North Texas, and a Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting, as well as a Master of Music in Composition/Theory from the Pennsylvania State University. He earned his Bachelor of Music in Theory and Composition from West Texas A & M University.

In December 2014 in recognition of “his impressive career achievements, phenomenal leadership of the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra (FSO), and dedication to music and the community” Methodist University (NC) bestowed upon him an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters. In March 2016 he was inducted into the Fayetteville (NC) Music Hall of Fame and in April 2016, upon the completion of a highly successful 11-season tenure with the FSO, individual symphony donors honored him with establishing “The Fouad K. Fakhouri Endowment for Artistic Excellence” – a $1.1 million fund that will “continue his legacy of excellence forever”.

Fakhouri resides in New York City with his wife Diane Lavelle, an advertising executive, and their daughter Isabella.

 
 

By Lana Sweeten-Shults of the Times Record News

Sorry, Andy Warhol. It isn’t pop art.

It’s the Pop-Up Art Gallery, a one-day tiptoe through creative cerebralism in an out-of-left-field space with a mayfly-like modus operandi, since this gallery’s life span is just a few hours long.

The sage brick-and-mortar Guggenheim it is not. But, like the Guggenheim, the Wichita Falls Alliance for Arts & Culture’s temporary Pop-Up Art Gallery, descending on downtown Saturday, celebrates art.

It will open from 3-6 p.m. in the iconic “Big Blue,” a business center in the midst of oil and gas country that also happens to be home to the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum.

It’s an unusual space for art, but alliance Executive Director Margie Johnson Reese planned it that way.

“We wanted people to see that art happens everywhere,” she said, and it isn’t as if Big Blue, also known as the First Wichita Building, 719 Scott St., hasn’t been a conduit for other unique art projects.

In 2015, photographers gathered to shoot photographs for the “Blue Skies for Big Blue” project, which culminated with an art exhibit.

Visitors to the Pop-Up Art Gallery will get to view artworks by 150 youths ages 5-17 created under the guidance of eight “Teaching Artists” over four weeks this summer. The exhibit is the product of the summertime arts workshops.

While these local Teaching Artists have shared their creative skills with youth — skills from singing to performing to painting and sculpture — they also have been students themselves.

The Wichita Falls Alliance for Arts & Culture brought in national master artists to teach them how to teach.

The program, dubbed the Teaching Artists Learning Laboratory, started when Reese arrived in town six months ago.

She knew what Wichita Falls needed and had a vision to build a thriving arts community. To do so, she wanted to establish a corps of teaching artists who would share their skills with the next generation. It also would be the first step to building an economy based on the arts, which in turn would encourage artists to stay in Wichita Falls.

“It was really clear that the first thing we needed to do was find our artists,” Reese said, and the alliance did. Then it moved forward with training them. The hope is that this initial corps of eight will teach more artists.

Saturday’s Pop-Up Art Gallery will feature the works of youths from several community organizations, including the Southside Youth Senter, MLK Center and the East Branch YMCA.

It also will spotlight performances by opera soprano Ashley Renee Watkins and New England Conservatory pianist Lewis Warren. They will play a mini-concert at 4 p.m. before launching into another concert at 7 p.m.

Watkins, who is on the faculty of the Lincoln Center, is one of the national master artists who worked to develop the teaching skills of local artists. And Warren has performed in Wichita Falls for a Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra fundraiser.

The symphony had long wanted to bring Warren back to town. Symphony board president Katie Parkey said Reese suggested the group join the alliance in Saturday’s Pop-Up Art Gallery, where you might not find Andy Warhol-inspired pop art but where creative cerebralism will be in tow.

 
 

Philip Chisum began playing the cello at the age of 9 and played throughout school as he attended Jefferson Elementary, McNeil Junior High and Rider HS. One of his favorite performance experiences was playing in the Texas Tech Symphony—his last concert was a performance of Mahler’s 2nd Symphony, a very moving experience.

Some of his favorite music includes compositions of Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich and Mahler—the romantic era is by far his favorite in classical music. He also enjoys listening to, as well as performing, chamber music.

He loves playing his cello, gardening, and reading about political philosophy—as well as historical events and economics. He’s also starting to read some about raising dairy goats so that he can start a small family farm with his wife Sarah.

Be sure to gaze at the cello section to find this rising young cellist.

 
 

Alex Parkey is our volunteer of the month. Her energetic personality and technological expertise have been a big help to us in the office as well as behind the scenes. She is always willing to help out in any way from day to day tasks to special projects and of course concert night!

Alex graduated this year from Notre Dame Catholic School and will attend the University of Dallas in the fall.

We wish her all the best!