Local Conductor Plans to Start All-Volunteer 'For the Fun of It' Orchestra

A prominent local conductor is starting a second symphony orchestra for San Antonio, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

But Dr. Ronnie Sanders, who is a veteran of Carnegie Hall and a two time winner of the Grammy Signature Award for Excellence in Music Education, says this will not compete with the San Antonio Symphony, which is well on its way to becoming a world class professional orchestra under the inspired direction of Maestro Sebastian Lang-Lessing.

Sanders says everybody knows a plumber who is an expert with the violin, or maybe an afternoon radio talk show host who is a wizard with the saxophone.

"I have observed musicians who say, lets play for the fun of it," he said.  "That has stuck in my mind, so its time that we get musicians together who want to play for the fun of it."

Sanders says the South Texas Symphonic Orchestra will be made of of volunteer amateurs who still remember how much fun it was to play in bands and orchestras in high school, college, or in the military, and want to continue performing even though they have moved into other careers.

"We're looking for folks who have a love of music, a passion to play, a passion to perform, but don't have an orchestra to call home."

He says, without the huge overhead of a professional orchestra, the South Texas Symphonic Orchestra can perform, for example, at Fiesta events, in high school gyms where they can bring classical music to people who may never have experienced its excitement and majesty, and inspire young people to become interested in music.

"The Orchestra will enrich the lies of our community by reaching out to underserved communities," he said, adding there are plans for a free children's concert every year.

This won't be a kazoo band, either.  Sanders has a full range of sophisticated music on tap for his volunteer musicians, from the traditional classical music of Beethoven, Mozart, and Haydn, to Aaron Copeland's Americana, to Broadway show tunes.

He hopes to have the volunteers in place and begin rehearsals by September.

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