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Goodbye 2018, You Were Grand!

In 2018, Austin Civic Orchestra members delighted in bringing high-quality music to the community, from pieces by American artists to new compositions to renowned masterworks. As we get ready to ring in 2019, let’s celebrate some of the highlights of the past year.

‘Paint to Music’ Helps Kids Explore Classical Music

Our annual “Paint to Music” program encourages local youth to explore the role that classical music can play in enhancing creative expression. In a classroom setting, students in grades 3-12 create a work of art while listening to a composition selected by the orchestra. Nearly 260 children from three schools in Central Texas and a local art center participated in this year’s “Paint to Music” contest, drawing inspiration from 1712 Overture. Participants presented their work at an ACO concert in May that included a performance of the composition.

Featured Composer Wins King Prize

The orchestra’s 2017-18 season, Made in America, featured American composers such as Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, and Jennifer Higdon. Soon after the ACO performed Higdon’s “blue cathedral”, she received the Eddie Medora King Prize from the University of Texas’ Butler School of Music. The award included three concerts showcasing seven compositions by Higdon, a Pulitzer Prize winner. As part of Austin’s vibrant art community, the ACO enjoys supporting the work of local musicians and celebrates when they are honored!

‘Destination: Europe’ Offers Journey of Discovery

Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic … these are just a few of the musical destinations of the ACO’s 2018-19 season. Destination: Europe features masterworks by renowned composers, the U.S. premiere of a modern composition, and guest soloists from around Central Texas. We’re celebrating a fantastic start to the season and invite you to join the adventure this spring as we continue to embrace the classics while exploring the future of classical music.  

Orchestra & Board Welcome New Members

Not only do ACO members give their time freely to provide the community with classical music experiences, the orchestra’s board consists of volunteers (ACO members and non-members alike) who go above and beyond to ensure the organization continues fulfill its mission. Several new board and staff members joined the team this year, and ACO concertmaster / former vice president Carolyn Richards-Chacon began her tenure as president. Outgoing president Amy Crandell served in the position diligently for five years and remains on the board. Additionally, about 10 musicians joined the orchestra at the start of the season — we love adding to our musical family!

ACO Gives Back Through Community Service

The creation of a social committee on the orchestra’s board presented members with new opportunities to get involved in volunteer projects as well as connect outside of rehearsal. From organizing a food drive to enjoying other arts groups in Austin to eating lots of tacos, ACO members are rediscovering what they love about the city and finding ways to serve outside of the orchestra.  


These are just a few of the highlights of what has been an amazing year. We look forward to sharing classical music experiences and more with you in 2019! Want to get involved in the orchestra? Explore opportunities >

ACO News