Music is a magical experience that can lift the spirit or simply fill the soul. Consider the music of the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra: “There’s a moment at the end of the piece where time seems to stand still,” says Mary Koeninger, executive director of the Brazos Valley Symphony Society. “The audience and the orchestra become one, and then suddenly the applause happens. It’s pure magic.”
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra helping to fill the local musical soul. Originally, there were two orchestras: the Brazos Symphony Orchestra and the Bryan/College Station Chamber Orchestra. When the two merged and became the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra they also brought into being the Brazos Valley Symphony Society, a nonprofit organization that provides administrative support for the orchestra. Together, the two groups make beautiful music – and events – happen.
Penny Zent, principle flutist and station manager at KAMU-FM, has been with the orchestra since the very beginning. “When I first came here there were two orchestras and not quite the support there is today,” says Zent. “When they combined they were able to attract more community support and become more of a part of the community. We’ve been very fortunate because as support grew we’ve been able to do bigger and more expansive things. It’s important not to be stagnant.”
While the changes in the Brazos Valley Symphony are important, Conductor Marcelo Bussiki says that the most important part is what has stayed the same. “The Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra has changed over the years, the budget has grown and we’ve gone from a volunteer orchestra to a professionally paid orchestra,” says Bussiki, who is also chairman of the Fine Arts Division at Blinn College. “However, the important part is what has remained the same. The identity of this community and the commitment from this community has always been important to the symphony. There has never been a single moment that I felt I shouldn’t be here. This community has a beautifully open heart.” That, says Bussiki, is something he believes will never change.
The anniversary offers a special time to celebrate in a special musical way. “The 30th anniversary will be a landmark event,” Bussiki says. “We’ve also kind of reprogrammed the first ever show this symphony did. We’ll have all three past conductors here as well, and it’s going to be an event to look forward to!”
Bussiki is also looking forward to the upcoming season. “We’re trying to make it an interesting season, one where we honor the past and look forward to the future of music at the same time,” says Bussiki. “We’ve got three compositions written specifically for this orchestra that we’ll be playing in the upcoming season. That alone proves the openness of the community to be excited for us to have so many brand new works.”
“The music we’re performing is timeless and it has a real impact,” Zent says. “I think we have an obligation to share this music with people.”
As for Bussiki, he wants to share the power and majesty of the orchestra with every person he meets. “For those who’ve never been, I would invite them to try to come to one show,” says Bussiki. “It’s amazing the impact live music has on people. You leave the space with a new appreciation for the music and a changed opinion. There’s nothing like seeing the musician put their heart out there, that’s what more people should experience.”
It’s clear the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra means business – the business of sharing the joy of music with our community for the next 30 years. –Tessa K. Moore
The 30th Celebration
October 9, Rudder Theatre, Texas A&M University
The 30th Anniversary Season opens with the re-creation of the first concert ever performed by the Brazos Valley Symphony. The previous conductors of the orchestra, Maestro Harold Turbyfill and Maestro Franz Krager, will be joining Music Director Marcelo Bussiki on the podium for an opera overture by Mozart, Grieg’s beautiful and lyrical work Wedding Day at Troldhaugen, and one of Beethoven’s most famous works, Symphony No. 5.
Season tickets are available through the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra website www.bvso.org or by calling (979) 696-6100.
Information about the Friends Association of Symphony Orchestra (FASO) support guild and how to get involved is available on the website.
2011-12 Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra Season
The 30th Celebration, Rudder Theatre, 5pm
Elijah, Rudder Auditorium, 5pm
Holiday Brass & Organ Spectacular, Christ United Methodist Church, 5 pm
February 19, 2012
From Waltz to Tango, Rudder Theatre, 5pm
March 25, 2012
The Americas & Beyond, Rudder Theatre, 5pm
April 22, 2012
The Grand Finale, Rudder Theatre, 5pm
May 5, 2012
Derby Day 2012, College Station Hilton Hotel, 4 pm