WACO, TX (FOX 44) — Musicians part of the Waco Symphony Orchestra are in their final rehearsal before tomorrow’s opening night performance on September 29.
This concert season is a special one marking its 60th anniversary of providing music for the community.
The Waco Symphony Orchestra has had renowned musicians and artists come to Waco to put on spectacular performances for many to remember from Eric Garfunkel to Frank Sinatra Jr.
However the main man putting the show together is putting down his baton.
For 35 years conductor, Steven Heyde has been orchestrating the music you’re hearing right now.
“It’s been an unbelievable pleasure I would say to work on these great pieces,” said Heyde.
Born in India, Heyde came to Waco in the 80’s to teach at Baylor.
In 1987, he became music director and conductor for the Waco Symphony Orchestra.
As the second person in the group’s history to fill this role Heyde remembers a few special moments.
“At the top of the list of memories always has to be Yo-Yo Ma, the great Yo-Yo Ma, the superb cellist, probably the most famous classical musician in the world,” said Heyde.
When teaching, Heyde always pushes his musicians to bring their best.
“I have a motto that I’ve always tried to live by, and that motto is integrity with humility,” said Heyde. “Integrity indicates that we do the very, very best we can, we bring our very best efforts, but humility is a recognition that music is a gift from God.”
Heyde plans to retire in November.
When asked how he feels wrapping up his musical journey, he says it’s a mix of emotions.
“I have nine grandchildren, but also there’s an element of sadness because I will miss the musicians. I will certainly miss making the music,” said Heyde.
Guest conductors will finish the season so that the audience can experience each maestro’s style.
At Baylor’s homecoming game in October, executive director of the Waco Symphony Association Caroyln Bess says the team will need your support.
“We’re inviting the community to sort of partner with us in a big way this year to help us in honor of our 60th season, to raise $60,000 in support of our education and community engagement initiatives, to help us further our work here in the community,” said Bess.
The Waco Symphony Orchestra is having its first performance tomorrow evening with violinist with Gil Shaham.
Click here to find future performances and tickets.