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Symphony set to trumpet new season

September 14, 2011

For 30 years, Big Spring Symphony Orchestra has been bringing something special to Big Spring and this year is no different.

Dr. Keith Graumann, third and current conductor of the symphony, will be celebrating his 10th year and the symphony itself will be celebrating its 30th anniversary. The season will kick off at 8 p.m. Saturday with a Latin celebration at First Baptist Church, located at 705 W. FM 700.

“It is sure to be an evening to reflect on the Mexican classical composers and full of music to tap your foot to, including some tango and rumba,” Graumann said.

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Symphony season is always exciting

September 14, 2011 by newsrider (not verified), 3 years 50 weeks ago
Comment: 81

I’ll never forget the time my mother wrote to me and sent me an article from the Herald about Big Spring getting its own Symphony Orchestra. I was dumbfounded. I could not believe the city I left after living a grand total of 18 years of my life there was getting its very own symphony. I was thrilled!
It should not have surprised me. But it did, and then I remember thinking, “Why not?” Big Spring has always had more than its share of musical talent. More than its share of the real bonafide musical talent you read about in Ripley’s “Believe it or Not.”
When I went to school, there were only three musicians teaching in the Big Spring Independent School District (BSISD). There was the already famous (to other musicians in America at the time) Bill Jones teaching at Goliad Jr. High School. He is a terrific woodwind player and especially a master of the Saxophone. And a fellow who was a very good low brass player teaching at Runnels Jr. High School. And the finest of the all, Douglas Wiehe, a renowned trumpet and cornet player, teaching the Big Spring High School Band. Dr. Wiehe’s reputation as a trumpet virtuoso at the age of four is legend among classical musicians. His brother is famous for playing the trombone and was a virtuoso at the age of four. He had to have a special strap attached to his wrist for reaching the fifth and sixth positions of the trombone slide.
The high school band was a favorite among all the high school bands at the time when it came to national fairs and such celebrations throughout America. They were invited to perform many places every year.
There has always been more artistic talent in Big Spring than any other resource in the area. And yet, it was the most ignored resource by the city and the school district at the time. But as things do, they have changed for the better.
There used to be a “Hall of Fame” listing the names of those who won state awards playing their instruments. I wonder if it is prominently displayed somewhere near all those sports trophies in the lobby of the high school.
When I was touring with the Marine Band and White House Orchestra during the 1970s, the auditorium was still a very good one. Albeit, was small. But the acoustics were still good. And the new band hall was ok, but for all of its glory, the music and arts department of BSHS had none of the trappings other schools have with much less talent and much less history.
Today, the Big Spring Symphony can boast many years of public service. In times such as these, it is an anachronism. Much older and much more legendary symphonies have folded and dived into financial ruin.
Someone should commend the Big Spring Symphony for their selfless service to a region not known for their appreciation of the all-time classics. But the real appreciation has always been from the naive and immensely talented children of this storied community. They have always contributed to Big Spring’s long legacy of talented persons. May they always be remembered. And may their teachers never be forgotten.

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