From ‘Toy Story’ to Tchaikovsky, symphony season has it all

Richard Carter, Special to the Times Record NewsPublished 9:23 p.m. CT Aug. 28, 2017

It will be a season of new beginnings for the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra.

The orchestra, which is in the midst of season ticket sales, will introduce its new musical director and conductor, Fouad Fakhouri, and will premiere a season that the organization’s executive director, Sherry Ransom, said “is thinking outside the box for us, along with some other exciting things going on.”

The season premiers 7:30 p.m. Oct. 14 with a program titled “New Beginnings with Fouad Fakhouri.”

“The orchestra will be playing Mozart (Overture from “The Marriage of Figaro”) and Brahms (“Symphony No. 1”) and some familiar music our audience will like.”

That includes Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite.

Ransom said a video will be screened before the performance featuring arts supporters over the years talking about their memories of the symphony.

The video is five to seven minutes long and will be on continued play. Ransom said a preconcert talk about the music will begin at 6:45 p.m.

“We haven’t done that for several years, and a lot of people were interested in doing one.”

The season continues Nov. 11 with “Quiet Heroes – Salute to the Armed Forces.”

Former Marine and popular actor Wilford Brimley will narrate the musical piece “Quiet Heroes – Symphonic Salute to the Flag Raisers at Iwo Jima” (by Chris Brubeck, the son of famous pianist Dave Brubeck). The 82-year-old Brimley also will visit Sheppard Air Force Base to talk with the troops.

Brimley travels around the country performing the narration, Ransom said. The orchestra will work with Sheppard to bring in as many airmen as possible to attend the program.

Other music performed that evening will be “American Salute” (Gould), “Esprit de Corps” (Jager), “Midway March” (Williams) and “Armed Forces Salute” (Lowden).

The annual Christmas program will be Dec. 16 with the Canadian Brass performing “Christmas with the Canadian Brass,” back by popular demand, Ransom said. The quintet was formed in Toronto in 1970 and features two trumpet players, one horn player and two trombone players. The Canadian Brass has released more than 125 CDs and DVDs.


For the Valentine’s Day-leaning “Romantic Masterpieces” Feb. 24, MSU Fine Arts Dean Martin Camacho will perform Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture and Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A Minor. The orchestra will take on Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4.

While the orchestra is not saving the best for last, a lot of children will certainly think so, when the musicians perform a two-hour “Pixar in Concert” program April 14 with music and video from all 14 Pixar films.

Those films include the ever-popular “Toy Story” trilogy, “Cars,” “Up” and “The Incredibles.”

“We will have excerpts of films running on two screens while the orchestra is playing,” Ransom said. “This is really thinking outside the box for us, and we’re hoping for a huge turnout.”


Mayfield Sound will bring in large screens and run the video.

“Larger cities across the country have done the Pixar show, and we talked to them to help us put it together. The music is difficult, and there will be extra rehearsals, but it will be so much fun.”


What: Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra season

Where: Memorial Auditorium, Seventh and Broad streets

When: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 14, Nov. 11 and Dec. 16, 2017, and Feb. 24 and April 14, 2018

Admission: $150 to $175 for season tickets ($125 for military/seniors; $75 for students). Individual tickets range from $65 to $110 for adults and $40 to $50 for students, depending on the program.

Information: and 940-723-6202