Genre: Orchestra

Country of Origin: Singapore

The Texarkana Symphony Orchestra (TSO) is the only fully professional, 501(c)(3) performing arts organization dedicated to ensuring that the world’s great symphonic compositions are performed, heard, felt, understood, appreciated, valued, and expected in the Texarkana area. Founded by an inspired group of initial patrons, our first concert was presented on April 4, 2006, and was hailed by the community as a needed and powerful new resource for musical leadership. Within months the Junior League of Texarkana chose to award a $100,000, 80th Anniversary Gift, to the Symphony for its potential to foster educational excellence for children through local access to a professional music ensemble. This generous gift enabled the Symphony to immediately launch community outreach efforts, in-school educational programs, and student concerts.

By the fall of 2007, the Symphony had founded the Texarkana Youth Symphony Orchestra (TYSO), the first auditioned student ensemble of its kind for the area. Following the phenomenal growth of the artistic endeavors of the Orchestra, the board of directors voted to employ a part-time executive director in the spring of 2008, and this position was made full-time in January 2011.

Throughout the last six years, the Symphony has focused its performances around the presentation of a series of masterworks concerts, an annual Christmas family concert, and a Black History Month concert. In the fall of 2011, the TSO added a Creepy Classics Halloween concert that featured a side-by-side performance with our affiliate Youth Symphony. This Creepy Classics Concert was a culmination of a day of collaboration between the TSO, the Texarkana Regional Arts Council, Texarkana Museums System, Arts on Main, and Main Street Texarkana to present a Spooktacular downtown street festival. December 2011 saw the repackaging of our Christmas family concert as Christmas at the Perot, featuring an ongoing collaboration between the TSO, the Texarkana Regional Chorale, and the Pleasant Grove Independent School District.

The Symphony’s continued emphasis on educational excellence is achieved via initiatives which include: our affiliate youth orchestra, the Texarkana Youth Symphony Orchestra, which presents two concerts annually; a youth concerto competition for high school students, held each fall or winter; two annual student concerts in the Perot Theatre; and between 5-10 in-school educational presentations each year. The TSO is a resource to our community through various soloists and ensembles from both the TSO and TYSO who are often featured in social, civic, and church programs throughout the year. The TSO continues to become an integral part of Texarkana’s cultural tourism, and business recruitment and relocation initiatives. Since the TSO’s founding it has brought nationally and internationally acclaimed artists to our area to both perform and participate in educational activities. In April 2011, our first commissioned piece by the award winning composer, and Texarkana native Clint Needham, was premiered.