2014-15 Season

Sponsored by Dorothy Vanek
Saturday, October 4, 2014 at 7:30pmSandra Wright Shen
SaddleBrooke DesertView Performing Arts Center

Sponsored by Tom & Carolyn Cochran and Corbett & Pat Alley

Sunday, October 5, 2014 at 3pm
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church

Sponsored by Patricia Linder

  • Berlioz: Rákoczy March from The Damnation of Faust
  • Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 21 (Sandra Wright Shen, piano)
  • Holst: The Planets

Saturday, November 8, 2014 at 7:30pm
SaddleBrooke DesertView Performing Arts Center

Marta Magdalena Lelek

Sponsored by Bob & Donna Langwig and Michael & Frances Leonard

Sunday, November 9, 2014 at 3pm
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church

Sponsored by Bo Saxberg

Gabriele Pezone, guest conductor

  • Rossini: Overture to L’Italiana in Algeri
  • Panufnik: Concerto for Violin and String Orchestra (Marta Magdalena Lelek, violin)
  • Schubert: Symphony No. 5

Friday, Feb. 20, 2015 at 7pm
Valley Presbyterian Church, Green ValleyCombined

Sponsored by Serene Rein and Valley Presbyterian Church

Saturday, February 21, 2015 at 7:30pm
SaddleBrooke DesertView Performing Arts Center

Sponsored by Miki Pratt

Sunday, February 22, 2015 at 3pm
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church

Sponsored by Mike and Rena Lude

  • Suppé: Light Cavalry Overture
  • Beethoven: Triple Concerto (Melanie Chae, piano; Edwin E. Soo Kim, violin; Zoran Stilin, cello)
  • Dvorák: Symphony No. 8

Saturday, March 14, 2015 at 7:30pm
Lutheran Church of the FoothillsBade

5102 N. Craycroft Road

Sponsored by David Hoefferle and United Financial Center

A special concert by the SASO Chorus and Chamber Ensemble
Andy Bade, conductor

All seats $15

  • Britten: Simple Symphony
  • Bach: Cantata No. 4, “Christ lag in Todesbanden”
  • Haydn: Selections from Seven Last Words of Christ (string quartet version)
  • Britten: Rejoice in the Lamb

Friday, April 10, 2015 at 7pmhong-mei xiao
Valley Presbyterian Church, Green Valley

Sponsorship available; sponsored in part by Valley Presbyterian Church

Saturday, April 11, 2015 at 7:30pm
SaddleBrooke DesertView Performing Arts Center

Sponsored by a friend of SASO

Sunday, April 12, 2015 at 3pm
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church

Sponsored by Patricia Linder

  • Michael Kiefer: Psalm 22
  • Martinu: Rhapsody-Concerto (Hong-Mei Xiao, viola)
  • Khachaturian: Masquerade Suite
  • Plus a movement from Saint-Saëns’ Third Violin Concerto featuring Bobae Johnson, the winner of SASO’s Dorothy Vanek Youth Concerto Competition

Saturday, May 9, 2015 at 7:30pmChloe Trevor
SaddleBrooke DesertView Performing Arts Center

Sponsored by Beatrice Simpson

Sunday, May 10, 2015 at 3pm
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church

Sponsored by Carole and Jerry Levine

  • Mussorgsky: Night on Bald Mountain
  • Bruch: Violin Concerto No. 1 (Chloé Trevor, violin)
  • Elgar: Enigma Variations

SASO’s Story

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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.