One of the greatest aspects about the Symphony of Southeast Texas’

Beaumont home is the opportunity to work with Lamar University. On

Sept. 25 at 7:30pm in the Julie Rogers Theatre, the SOST will celebrate

this relationship with its “Lamar Night” season opening concert. Dr.

Brian Shook, principal trumpet and trumpet professor at Lamar, will

join the orchestra in Neruda’s Trumpet Concerto.  Of his appearance with the orchestra Dr. Shooks says, “As one of the most recent additions to the Lamar music faculty and the SOST, I observed very quickly that both organizations have enjoyed a symbiotic relationship for many years. It is a pleasure and honor to continue in the rewarding tradition of my predecessor, the late Dr. Raul Ornelas, and his contributions to both institutions. I am thoroughly looking forward to representing both Lamar and the SOST as a soloist on our first concert this season.” The concert will open with the massively popular William Tell Overture by Rossini, and will close with Brahms’ triumphant Symphony No. 1.

The SOST’s relationship with Lamar’s music department dates back many years, but the relationship has recently developed a new arm with the university’s College of Business. Dr. Russ Schultz, Dean of Lamar’s College of Fine Arts & Communications, says, “This is the ultimate win-win relationship. The Symphony benefits from the expertise of the LU faculty and the LU faculty and students participate in and hear live, serious music regularly.” Henry Venta, Dean of the College of Business, says, “The work that the College of Business has done with the Symphony has important benefits to both organizations.  The Symphony gets help and expertise that would be very costly to obtain in other ways.  The students of the College get great, hands-on experience solving real problems and an exposure to management of not-for-profits.”

Some of the highlights of the relationship between the SOST and LU include 10 Lamar Music Department faculty members playing in the orchestra, two Lamar University Deans, Lamar’s President, and one Texas State University System regent serving on the Symphony’s Board of Directors. In addition to these personnel relationships, Lamar Business students have undertaken three major projects for the Symphony in recent years in the areas of marketing, human resources, and strategic management, and music students prepare companion booklets for use with the orchestra’s youth education concerts each year. “As you can tell, the relationship between the SOST and Lamar is growing stronger everyday. It is a great privilege for us to have this resources (Lamar) in our community, and all parties are better for it,” says the orchestra’s Executive Director, Craig Escamilla.

Don’t miss the season opening concert on Sept. 25. Maestro Chelsea Tipton will lead a pre-concert discussion on the Julie Rogers stage beginning at 6:30pm. Tickets range from $13-$33 and can be purchased at the Symphony office, by calling 409-892-2257, or online at As Maestro Tipton says, “It’s the Symphony of Southeast Texas. It’s your music, it’s your symphony!” Wear your red & white, and join the Symphony and Lamar to celebrate this outstanding partnership!