Jim McKone

“For 57 years, the Valley Symphony Orchestra and Chorale (VSO&C) has played to enthusiastic audiences in and around the Rio Grande Valley,” said Peter Dabrowski, music director and conductor.

“Our members are your neighbors — those who share a love for music as well as enriching the cultural fabric of our community with the thrill of live performances.”

“By day, VSO&C members include over 75 musicians and 110 vocalists who also work as teachers, business owners, physicians and executives. Most of us grew up around music — probably first learning to play in elementary or middle school. Today, we come together to connect musically with others, share the enjoyment of music with live audiences, and help mentor the next generation.”

“As a non-profit organization our mission is to Perform, Educate and Inspire. And, oh boy, do I love the Valley Symphony Orchestra’s holiday concert! The ‘Touch of Frost’ fills me with the Christmas spirit,” said Fawn Foudray-Golich, community development director for the symphony.

Saturday, Dec. 5, officially kicked off the holiday season in the Valley - brimming with praise from the large audience of over 2,500. The McAllen Convention Center was transformed by staging illuminated with exquisite seasonal gems that lit the night with a concert celebration that got the whole community in the spirit of the season.

Sophisticated music choices for the holidays and fun chorale arrangements of old favorites were featured. The brilliant virtuosity and the unparalleled diversity of its repertoire were selected by both Maestro Dabrowski and Christopher Munn, chorale director.

“My wife and I were running late and arrived after the performance started so we sat in the back as not to disturb the concert goers. What a fantastic performance! Tulsa Symphony has nothing on you!” Michael Cole, director of sales and marketing — Renaissance Casa de Palmas.

This year the orchestra was fortunate to have vocalist Maria Elena Beltran perform "Cucurrucúcu Paloma" with the University of Texas-Pan American Mariachi Aztlan, directed by Francisco Loera. Soprano Amy Hymel Brownlow and trumpeter Art Brownlow gave solo performances in Handel's Christmas "Let the Bright Seraphim." Two large screens flanked the stage with holiday animation and close-ups of the musicians, vocalists and UTPA Folklorico dancers. It was a magical night for the entire family.

“We certainly did enjoy the concert and would love to bring this performance to South Padre Island,” said Joann Evans, El Paseo Arts Foundation and City Commissioner of South Padre Island..

McAllen's Channel 12 filmed this concert in its entirety and will air the program beginning Dec. 9 and throughout the holiday season. The performance ended with Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" and Leroy Anderson's "Sleigh Ride" to an extended applause. Sponsors of this event were The City of McAllen, Frost Bank, AEP Texas and Texas Commission on the Arts. For more information on future concerts call 956-661-1615 or visit www.valleyorchestra.org on-line.