Author Archives: lhtek

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!