The Symphony of Southeast Texas (SOST) is kicking off its 60th season at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15 at the Julie Rogers Theatre with “Simple Gifts from the Symphony of Southeast Texas,” a concert full of celebration and recognition of the milestone year for the orchestra. Maestro Chelsea Tipton has prepared a program for the concert to spotlight the orchestra as a whole, which will create a compelling start to a remarkable diamond anniversary season.

“One notable point about this concert is that there is not a featured soloist,” Tipton said. “The ‘soloist’ is the entire orchestra, and we want to showcase their great talent in this momentous performance.”

The Symphony commissioned SOST Principal Timpanist Gary Parks, an orchestra member for over 40 years, to create a celebratory work to open the season with. Parks wrote “Fanfare and Celebration,” which Tipton said is bright, tuneful, rhythmic and fun. He added that it was important for this milestone to have a piece commissioned just for the occasion by a member of the Southeast Texas community.

The concert will also include Aaron Copland’s “Appalachian Spring,” well-known for its use of the “Simple Gifts” theme, which is based on a Shaker melody of the same name. The music has a very Americana feel that Tipton said fits this region well and demonstrates the gift that the Symphony has given the community over the years.

The audience will be taken back to that inaugural concert on May 12, 1953, as the orchestra performs Rimsky Korsakov’s “Capriccio Espagnol,” which the Beaumont Symphony Orchestra performed that historic evening. Based on Spanish melodies seen through the eyes of one of Russia’s most important composers in 1887, the piece features the orchestra prominently and has a grand, celebratory feel.

Closing out the premiere concert of the 60th season will be Arturo Marquez’s “Danzon No. 2,” a popular, significant piece from the Mexican composer.

Maestro Tipton also invites all guests to arrive early at 6:30 p.m. for a pre-concert talk. The performance will then begin at 7:30 p.m. Single ticket prices range from $15 to $36; senior, student and group discounts are available. To purchase tickets or get more information, go to or contact the Symphony office at (409) 892-2257.

This concert is sponsored by Rosine McFaddin Wilson.

An added “sparkling” attraction for the four Master Series concerts during this milestone season includes a diamond jewelry piece give-away. A representative will draw one ticket from the stubs submitted upon entrance to the theater on concert night. The lucky concert-goer holding that ticket will be presented with a beautiful piece of diamond jewelry. The winner must be present to claim the prize. The jewelry prize for the Sept. 15 concert is generously donated by Nederland Jewelers.

The Symphony of Southeast Texas celebrates “A Sparkling 60th Season of Symphonic Sounds” in 2012-2013. Since the inaugural performance of the Beaumont Symphony Orchestra on May 12, 1953, the organization has continued to uphold its mission of presenting educational, entertaining, and culturally enriching programs of the highest artistic quality to the Southeast Texas community.