Valley Symphony Orchestra opens season with ‘Concert of the Century’

Valley Symphony Orchestra

Valley Symphony Orchestra

Special to the Parade

Up for the symphony?

The acclaimed musicians of the Valley Symphony Orchestra & Chorale are, and they’re kicking off the 2011-2012 season at the McAllen Convention Center Thursday, Sept. 29 at 8 p.m. with the appropriately titled, “The Concert of the Century” – this in conjunction with the City of McAllen’s Centennial Celebration.

The show will feature three works: George Gershwin’s jazzy masterpiece for Piano and Orchestra, Rhapsody in Blue, featuring Houston-based pianist Kris Becker; Bolero, and what is considered by many the greatest single piece of music ever written, the choral finale of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, the “Ode to Joy,” with the Valley Symphony Chorale and vocal soloists.

In this its 59th year, the VSO has grown from its Pan American College roots, where it was founded in 1952 as the South Texas Symphony Association – an orchestra of volunteer musicians, to the premier symphonic organization it is today.

Remaining volunteer-based, the VSO now features a 100+ voice Valley Symphony Chorale, two youth orchestras, the Youth Symphony and Philharmonic, and its Success through Strings program that provides Suzuki-based violin instruction to select elementary students.

Throughout its proud history, the VSO has performed throughout the lower Rio Grande Valley as well as concerts in Monterrey, Saltillo and Ciudad Victoria in Mexico.

“We are extremely excited to announce the Valley Symphony Orchestra’s 2011-12 season,” VSO Executive Director Larry Kopp said before crediting Director Dr. Peter Dabrowski, a world-class conductor who guest conducts internationally every concert season to critical acclaim. “As always, our Orchestra Series concerts feature some of the greatest music ever written as well as audience favorites for every musical taste. Maestro Dabrowski has truly put together a season you won’t want to miss! And as part of our service to the community, we are again presenting our Chamber Series Concerts as a special musical treat for Valley residents.”

The VSO’s Orchestra Series concerts feature a 75-member, fully professional Valley Symphony Orchestra “live” in concert under the baton of Dabrowski.

“Maestro Dabrowski was asked to put together a concert program that would be a ‘once in a century’ musical event for the city of McAllen,” states Kopp. “On this one concert we are featuring three works that by themselves would normally be the highlight of any concert. This is truly a musical event that happens once a century in the Rio Grande Valley!”

For more information, call (956) 661-1615 or visit

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