Join Us

The Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra is a solid mix of professional-level, amateur and student musicians. Several musicians have been members of the orchestra since it was formed in 1979.

SASO rehearses each Wednesday evening, and occasional Tuesday evenings, from 7:00 to 9:30 p.m. All evening rehearsals are at Roskruge School, 501 E. 6th Street unless otherwise noted. Please arrive early and be ready to tune at 6:55 p.m. Bring a music stand if you have one. Each concert cycle includes approximately seven evening rehearsals, plus a Saturday morning dress rehearsalon the concert weekend. SaddleBrooke concerts are Saturdays at 7:30pm. St. Andrew’s concerts are Sunday’s at 3 p.m.

Prospective members may inquire about auditions by using our contact form.

The success of an orchestra depends on everyone’s dedicated participation. To make the experience a rewarding and satisfying one, we have formalized our attendance policy, which is based on the following principles:

  • We ask for your commitment to SASO, but we know that schedule conflicts can occur.
  • Our goal is to make as efficient use of rehearsal time as possible.
  • Unexpected absences cause the most problems. We can work around expected absences.
  • If you will be absent, you should try to make it as easy as possible on those who are present.

Every piece is different in its orchestration and its technical demands. Not every player is asked to play every piece. Seating arrangements may vary from piece to piece. We ask for your cooperation, flexibility and understanding in this. 

Each season, you are asked to complete a schedule form indicating any concert cycles and/or rehearsals that you must miss. This information will be made available to the section leaders and to the Music Director.

If an absence you did not know about at the time you filled out the schedule is necessary, please inform the Personnel Manager* as soon as possible.

Wind/brass/percussion players who miss rehearsals should try to find a substitute for the rehearsals they will miss. The Personnel Manager can suggest names. If you miss a rehearsal, be sure your part is available at the rehearsal whether you have a substitute or not.

Section leaders who miss a rehearsal should designate a section leader in their absence, and notify that person ahead of time.

Section leaders or the Personnel Committee will call players with unexplained absences. Repeated unexplained absences or late arrivals to rehearsals and/or concerts will be grounds for removal from the orchestra. If you miss more than one rehearsal for a particular concert cycle, or if you miss the dress rehearsal, the Music Director or the Personnel Committee may request that you not play the concert. This will be judged on a case-by-case basis.

If you must miss one concert in a given cycle, you are not entitled to play the other concert in that cycle in your normal seating position.

  • Wind/brass/percussion players must sit out the cycle.
  • String players have the option of playing the other concert, provided that they attend the rehearsals (including the dress) for that concert, and sit at the back of their section for that cycle.

This policy is designed to ensure consistency in seating between performances in a given cycle, while maximizing playing opportunities. Any exceptions require the approval of the Music Director.

The orchestra will tune at 6:59. The Music Director reserves the right to keep the orchestra past 9:30 if we start late. If you know that you will be late for a rehearsal, please tell the Music Director beforehand.

*Personnel Manager is currently Tim Secomb, 795-4048h, 626-4513w, 360-2128 cell

Audio/Video Release Policy. It is a condition of participating in SASO activities that you authorize SASO to publish audio and/or video materials obtained during SASO rehearsals or performances, which may include your name and likeness, for use in SASO’s publications including print, online, CD or DVD materials, and that you release SASO and any third parties involved in the creation such materials from liability for any claims by you or any third party in connection with your participation.


All rehearsals are at Roskruge Middle School Auditorium 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm unless otherwise noted.

Programs and rehearsal schedule subject to change. 

Key to instrumentation listings: fl ob cl bsn / hrn trp trb tuba / timp & perc hrp keybrd / str. (* requires picc, eng hn, bass cl and/or contrabsn; = requires alto fl or Eb clr). All lists in concert order.


Roskruge = Roskruge Middle School Auditorium 501 E. 6th St. (enter parking from 2nd avenue)

SA Pres = St. Andrew’s Presbyterian, Southwest Sanctuary, 7575 North Paseo del Norte

SaddleBrooke = DesertView Performing Arts Center, 39900 S. Clubhouse Dr.

Green Valley = Valley Presbyterian Church, 2800 S. Camino Del Sol, Green Valley

Fox Theatre = Fox Tucson Theatre, 17 W Congress St.

SPECIAL CONCERT at Tucson’s Fox Theatre (Sep 15, 2016) 

SPECIAL CONCERT (Sep 15, 2016) – Mexican Independence Day Concert 

Arias from San Luis Potosí Opera Festival

Arturo Márquez: Conga del Fuego Nuevo (5’) (*22=22-4331-tmp+4-str)

Arturo Márquez: Danzón No. 2 (10’) (2222-4231-4perc-pf-str)

Mariachi music with orchestra (Mariachi Sol Azteca)

Tuesday, September 6

Wednesday, September 7

Tuesday, September 13 – Fox concert AND Cycle 1 repertoire

Wednesday, September 14 – 6:45 to 9:45 p.m. rehearsal at ROSKRUGE, not the Fox as announced earlier

Thursday, September 15 – 6:00 call, 6:15 sound check, 7:00 pm SPECIAL CONCERT in Fox Theatre

CONCERT CYCLE 1 (Oct 15 and 16, 2016)

(Max forces required: *3*3*=4*3-4331-tmp+4-hp-pf-str)

Arturo Márquez: Conga del Fuego Nuevo (5’) (*22=22-4331-tmp+4-str)

Arturo Márquez: Danzón No. 2 (10’) (2222-4231-4perc-pf-str)

George Gershwin: Piano Concerto (31’) (James Dick, piano) (*3*3*32-4331-tmp+3-str)

William Levi Dawson: Negro Folk Symphony (28’) (*3*3*=4*3-4331-tmp+4-hp-str)

Tuesday, September 13 – Fox concert AND Cycle 1 repertoire

Wednesday, September 28 (sectional)

Tuesday, October 4

Wednesday, October 5

Tuesday, October 11

Wednesday, October 12

Saturday, October 15 – SA Pres: 9 am – 12 noon 

Saturday, October 15 – SaddleBrooke: 6:45 pm sound check, 7:30 pm CONCERT 

Sunday, October 16 – SA Pres: 2 pm sound check, 3 pm CONCERT 

CONCERT CYCLE 2 (Nov 19 and 20, 2016)

(Max forces required: (*322*3-2230-tmp+1-str)

Gioachino Rossini: Overture to The Barber of Seville (8’) (*2222-2230-tmp+1-str)

Carl Nielsen: Flute Concerto (19’) (Carol Wincenc, flute) (0222-2010-tmp-str)

Ludwig Van Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 (31’) (*322*3-2230-tmp-str)

Tuesday, October 25 (conductor TBA)

Wednesday, October 26 (sectional)

Wednesday, November 2

Wednesday, November 9

Tuesday, November 15

Wednesday, November 16

Saturday, November 19 – SA Pres: 9 am – 12 noon 

Saturday, November 19 – SaddleBrooke: 6:45 pm sound check, 7:30 pm CONCERT 

Sunday, November 20 – SA Pres: 2 pm sound check, 3 pm CONCERT

CONCERT CYCLE 3 (Jan 27, 28 and 29, 2017)

(Max forces required: *3*3*3*3-4331-asx-tmp+5-2hp-pf-str)

Edward Elgar: Pomp and Circumstance March No. 4 (4’) (*3*3*3*3-4331-tmp+3-2hp-str)

Edward Elgar: Violin Concerto (Edwin E. Soo Kim, violin) (48’) (222*3-4231-tmp-str)

Sergei Rachmaninov: Symphonic Dances (*3*3*3*3-4331-asx-tmp+5-hp-pf-str)

Tuesday, January 3 – rehearsal at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian, 7575 N. Paseo del Norte

Wednesday, January 4 – rehearsal at Sea of Glass Center for the Arts, 332 E. 7th St.

Wednesday, January 11 (sectional)

Tuesday, January 17

Wednesday, January 18

Tuesday, January 24

Wednesday, January 25

Friday, January 27 – Green Valley: 6:15 pm sound check, 7:00 pm CONCERT 

Saturday, January 28 – SaddleBrooke: 6:45 pm sound check, 7:30 pm CONCERT 

Sunday, January 29 – SA Pres: 2 pm sound check, 3 pm CONCERT 

CONCERT CYCLE 4 (March 17, 18 and 19, 2017)

(Max forces required: *3*3*3*3-4331-tmp+3-hp-opt org-str)

William Walton: Coronation March, Crown Imperial (7’) (*3*3*3*3-4331-tmp+3-hp-opt org-str)

Alexander Glazunov: Saxophone Concerto (13’) (Ashu, saxophone) (str)

Astor Piazzolla: Two Tangos (Ashu, saxophone)

Winner of Youth Concerto Competition: TBA

Gabriel Fauré: Requiem, with vocal soloists and chorus (39’) (2022-4230-tmp-hp-org-str)

Tuesday, February 21

Wednesday, February 22

Wednesday, March 1 (sectionals at 7 p.m.; full orchestra at 8 p.m.)

Tuesday, March 7

Wednesday, March 8

Tuesday, March 14

Wednesday, March 15

Friday, March 17 – Green Valley: 6:15 pm sound check, 7:00 pm CONCERT 

Saturday, March 18 – SaddleBrooke: 6:45 pm sound check, 7:30 pm CONCERT 

Sunday, March 19 – SA Pres: 2 pm sound check, 3 pm CONCERT 

CONCERT CYCLE 5 (April 22 and 23, 2017)

(Max forces required: *3*3*3*3-4331-tmp+5-str)

Anton Shaburov, Guest Conductor

Reinhold Glière: Russian Sailors’ Dance (*3*3*3*3-4331-tmp+5-str)

Robert Schumann: Piano Concerto (31’) (Melanie Chae, piano) (2222-2200-tmp-str)

Antonin Dvorák: Symphony No. 7 (35’) (*2222-4230-tmp-str)

Wednesday, March 29 (conductor TBA)

Tuesday, April 4

Wednesday, April 5

Wednesday, April 12 (sectional)

Tuesday, April 18 (guest conductor)

Wednesday, April 19 (guest conductor)

Saturday, April 22 – SA Pres: 9 am – 12 noon 

Saturday, April 22 – SaddleBrooke: 6:45 pm sound check, 7:30pm CONCERT 

Sunday, April 23 – SA Pres: 2 pm sound check, 3 pm CONCERT 

Wednesday, April 26 – Annual General Meeting and potluck

General Personnel Reminders

Please do not wear perfume, cologne or other scents to rehearsals or concerts.

Please do not carry on conversations during tuning or rehearsal.

Speak quietly if you need to discuss something about the music that can’t wait until break.

If you are unable to attend a rehearsal, please contact Tim Secomb AND your section leader in advance. It may be necessary for you to help find a replacement for your part.

Concert Dress:
Ladies—Black dress or skirt/pants and blouse. Sleeves should be elbow length or longer. Dress/skirt/pants should be mid-calf or longer. Black shoes.
Gentlemen—tuxedo or black suit, white shirt, black bow tie, black shoes and socks.

SASO’s Story

Alan Schultz became music director in Year 2 and continued leading SASO for 15 seasons. He frequently conducted from the keyboard—organ or harpsichord. He also composed several works premiered by SASO.
The visionary founders of SASO were Barbara and Bill Chinworth, Scott Bracher and Janet Lombard. Barbara has played with SASO through its entire history, originally in the horn section, now on bass.
The most colorful performance was a Halloween concert in Nogales—a ghoulish event where the conductor was a clown and all the musicians were in costume.
Early audiences had to be loyal followers of this itinerant orchestra, which performed all over the city, frequently in churches. In the 1980s SASO rented the Temple of Music and Art for a concert. The City of Tucson condemned the building the morning of the dress rehearsal and the concert was canceled.
Brazilian-born Linus Lerner, in his first year as music director, challenged the orchestra to learn his native Latin rhythms by playing Villa-Lobos. This proved surprisingly hard to do. We finally got it, but not until the week of the concert.
SaddleBrooke is home to many of our loyal donors and the place where we’ve held our gala celebrations—first a black-tie dinner with music from "Phantom of the Opera" and later our annual StarStruck Gala evenings from 2008 through 2013.
Adam Boyles was the music director for three seasons, bringing bountiful youthful energy and a passion to serve the music. Then the Tucson native moved East to brave the snow and conduct the orchestra at MIT in Boston.
One spring SASO proved it has animal attraction. When it played at the Reid Park Zoo, some of the critters sang along with the music
Turkish maestro Orhan Salliel, after guest-conducting SASO in the fall of 2012, wrote to us, "The time in Tucson I shared with you in SASO for me was so special. I felt the real love of music from the bottom of everyone's hearts. It was something I do not feel often—never, ever in the professional world anymore. Please keep it, save it, try to build everything from this power of love for music."
In December 1995 SASO was the first to present a concert at SaddleBrooke. This was the brainstorm of concertmaster Sam Kreiling. The concert sold out, as did a four-concert series the following year. SASO has performed there ever since.
Composer, pianist and conductor Warren Cohen served as music director for eight seasons, routinely commuting from his home in Phoenix, but one year all the way from Hawaii. His wife, coloratura Carolyn Whitacre, was a favorite soloist.
The largest event SASO has produced was Berlioz Te Deum, presented at the Tucson Community Center Music Hall with the Tucson Civic Orchestra, Tucson Masterworks Chorale, Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus and Pima College Singers.
The first concert was Oct. 28, 1979, conducted by former University of Arizona music professor Henry Johnson, featuring Jonathan Kramer in a Boccherini cello concerto.
Our most famous alumnus is Rico Saccani, associate conductor of SASO our inaugural year and piano soloist for the second concert. He later conducted opera companies and orchestras around the world and was music director of the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra from 1985 to 2005.