Having been affiliated on various levels with several orchestral groups in North Texas, the Lone Star Wind Orchestra's founders felt confident that they possessed the necessary blend of experience,...
Having been affiliated on various levels with several orchestral groups in North Texas, the Lone Star Wind Orchestra's founders felt confident that they possessed the necessary blend of experience, capabilities, and knowledge to build a professional yet completely volunteer orchestra through sheer determination and commitment. The founders envisioned a wind orchestra created and managed from a musician's perspective, with a strong focus on giving back to the band community as well as the community-at-large in North Texas. The desire to create the Lone Star Wind Orchestra was predicated on several key elements, first of which was the tremendous talent pool available in the North Texas area. Texas has a nationally recognized abundance of wind band students, teachers and graduates; and Texas public schools house five times the number of wind band students than string orchestral students. Although several prominent organizations were already well-established in the Dallas area; one with similar wind band programming repertoire, the fact remained that it was extremely difficult to achieve a permanent position in an established orchestral organization because the musician turnover rate is very low. This leaves an astonishingly large number of young, extremely talented musicians resolved to playing with community-type bands or not playing at all. The founders envisioned a wind orchestra that included recent college graduates and other professional quality musicians who loved playing exceptional music with exceptional conductors so much that they would agree to perform for free. They felt that with the talent pool being so great in the area, there was no reason the plan shouldn't work. The founders auditioned and selected musicians who accepted the mission, vision and guiding principles that had been established. Another key collective belief centered on the concept that all players would share first parts to fourth parts; that they would commit to a five performance season; and they share the desire to give back to the community through outreach initiatives such as our "Featured Rising Stars" initiative and our "Music Changing Lives" scholarships. The key skill sets possessed by the founders were artistic vision, leadership, business management, team building, compassion, technological experience and willpower. In April 2006, a name was chosen and a logo was born and from there the journey was just beginning. After the bylaws were written and the board had been seated, its 501c3 non-profit designation was achieved. An audition and interview process was begun to select the inaugural fifty player-musicians and assemble a volunteer support group. In five months the inaugural performance of the Lone Star Wind Orchestra was held at the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, Texas. The date was September 27, 2006 and the first performance was called FIESTA! Fiesta was a cultural tribute to Hispanic composers and musicians – and included additional debuts from a mariachi band, a solo vocalist, and ballet folklorico dancers. The attendance level was light, as expected for a new and unknown organization, but the experience was truly gratifying and amazing. The founders knew that what they had started had promise and purpose and would reach notoriety with hard work, dedication and perseverance. Today, after only our second season, we have been able to improve patron attendance fourfold and we have initiated a successful "Band Rewards" program, a "Featured Rising Stars" program, and provided four "Music Changing Lives" scholarships to deserving high school seniors. The Lone Star Wind Orchestra completed its first professionally recorded CD, "American Tapestry" which was released in April 2008 and is being distributed nationally by the Naxos record label under the Wind Band Classics series. Lone Star has also commissioned a new work for wind band by world-renowned composer, Donald Grantham and named its principal conductor, Mr. Eugene Migliaro Corporon to lead the organization into the future. These accomplishments are in addition to the numerous programs performed for free to community outreach groups and organizations. The Lone Star Wind Orchestra has partnered with outreach organizations such as Artreach and The Senior Source to provide over 1,000 free performance tickets to the artistically underserved in North Texas. We welcome you to join us at one of our performances and to join our volunteer support organization. For details, visit our website http://www.lonestarwindorchestra.com.
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