In its 40th anniversary year, the Austin Civic Orchestra (ACO) celebrated new opportunities to bring high-quality music to the community, from renowned classical pieces to new works. As we ring in the new year and begin the second half of our Made in America season, the orchestra is celebrating some of the highlights of 2017!
- Orchestra and Music Director Lois Ferrari Receive 2nd Place in American Prize
The American Prize is a national competition that recognizes top artists and groups in various settings, from community orchestras to professional groups and beyond. In 2017, the American Prize honored ACO Music Director Lois Ferrari with second place in conducting (community orchestra division). The orchestra also received second place in orchestral performance (community orchestra division).
- Paint to Music Helps Students Explore Classical Music Through Art
Nearly 1,300 children from four schools in Central Texas participated in the orchestra’s first annual Paint to Music contest by creating artwork while listening to a movement from Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony. The program — which will open again this spring and feature a different piece of music — helps youth explore the language of music and experience how it enhances creative expression.
- Austin Homegrown Concert Celebrates Local Composers
For the December concert in our Made in America season, the orchestra highlighted Austin-area composers — performing works by Donald Grantham and Dan Welcher. We joined forces with the choirs from St. Edward’s University and Austin Community College to perform Grantham’s So Long As Days Shall Be, and Welcher conducted his own composition, Prairie Light: Three Texas Water Colors of Georgia O’Keefe. This Austin Homegrown concert, featured on Spectrum News, was made possible by donors who gave more than $8,600 to the orchestra during Amplify Austin Day 2017, the city’s community-wide day of giving. Save the dates of Amplify Austin Day 2018: March 1-2.
- Orange Magazine: ACO Makes Classical Music Accessible and Affordable
In 2017, the orchestra continued to make it easier for local residents and tourists to enjoy classical music in Austin. Youth who are 18 years old and younger receive free admission, and the orchestra performs in accessible venues such as the AISD District Performing Arts Center in the Mueller neighborhood, Zilker Park and the University of Texas at Austin. Orange Magazine reported on these efforts in an article published in March.
- American Public Media’s Performance Today Features ACO
Performance Today, one of the nation’s most popular classical music radio programs, featured the orchestra’s 2015 performance with local musician Rick del Castillo. The broadcast in April included the piece Polo Battle by del Castillo with arrangement by George Oldziey. Musicians from the Austin Community College and St. Edward’s University choirs joined the orchestra for this performance at the Long Center.
We’re looking forward to another year of sharing classical music experiences with you! Want to get involved in the orchestra? Explore opportunities >