When President Roosevelt fought the Great Depression, he used "Happy Days Are Here Again" as the way to break the terrible problems about money in the 1930s. It worked. The country recovered.

Now the Valley has another president -- ofthe Valley Symphony Orchestra and Chorale -- and it works again, by cheering up a lot of people through classical music.

Mario Reyna is the president of the executive board of the Valley Symphony Orchestra and Chorale. He oversees some wonderful music that brightens everybody. Of course, hundreds of people go to hear the Valley Symphony Orchestra with its 75 talented musicians.

Great music has the power to "tame the savage beast," and this dramatic and classic orchestra will make virtually everyone who visits it to become happy again.

Maestro Peter Dabrowski has started his 11th year as music director and conductor of the symphony orchestra and chorale. He has picked wonderful classical music for the concerts this season, as always.

It's too late now to hear the first two, but the next one will be at 8 p.m. Dec. 1 at the McAllen Civic Center, featuring Tchaikovsky, Handel and holiday favorites. This is always a sellout, I feel certain. So get your tickets as soon as possible.

Tickets can be purchased at 200 S. 10th Street, Suite 103 at the Neuhaus Tower in McAllen. Office hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Telephone 956-661-1656.

In the new year, the concerts will be at 8 p.m. Jan. 21 at the McAllen Civic Center, 8 p.m. Feb. 24 at the UT Pan American Fine Arts Auditorium, and 8 p.m. April 12, also at UTPA.

Not being a professional at judging music, I still embrace it and try to encourage everyone who has not been there to see what a wonderful Valley Symphony Orchestra and Chorale we have.

Having listened to other fine orchestras across the United States and some in Europe, I can appreciate how much the Valley Symphony Orchestra has grown and improved in all these years together, which will turn out to be better than ever next year and in future years.

Music Director Dabrowski, Chorale Director Christopher Munn and the orchestra and chorale plus all the others and money-givers for the symphony, deserve long applause for improving this always-growing better symphony that all of Texas can be proud of and places all in smaller states would be proud to be as professional as these are.

Having seen it nearly from the start, I take my hat off to all connected to it. Go see what I mean, but try to get a ticket first, because the elite lovers of symphonies, however their age (usually older) and of all ages will appreciate as the real thing when they see and hear and applaud the Valley Symphony Orchestra and Chorale in the future.

The latest two concerts were super-classics with a full crowd at the McAllen Convention Center and the second at the University of Texas-Pan American Fine Arts Auditorium.

The most recent concert featured four European classics. Most of the old-timers may have heard it, but it is the classics that stays rich for everyone. Those classics Nov. 3 included "Overture to La Cenerentola" by Rossini, Liszt's "Piano Concerto No.1 in E flat major," Grieg's "Peer Gynt Suite 1, Opus 46" and "Peer Gynt Suite 2, Opus 55," and Dvorak's" Slavonic Dance No.8 in G minor, Opus 46."

The Valley Symphony Orchestra and Chorale's Vision is "To improve life in a diverse community through artistic excellence in the performance and preservation of great music.