2017-18 Season

Sponsored by Dorothy Vanek

Friday, September 15, 2017 at 8 p.m.
Fox Tucson TheatreMexican flag

17 W. Congress St.

Sponsored by the Mexican Consulate in Tucson and the Instituto Cultural Mexicano de Tucson

Special Mexican Independence Day Concert

Vocalists from Mexico’s Festival Potosino de Opera and Dr. Linus Lerner International Voice Competition team up with SASO and a mariachi ensemble for an evening of opera arias and Mexican classical orchestral music. Free admission! The free tickets will be distributed by the Mexican Consulate, 3915 E Broadway. For more info please call the Consulate at 882-5595 ext. 404 after September 1.

Saturday, October 14, 2017 at 7:30pm
SaddleBrooke DesertView Performing Arts Center

Sponsored by Tom & Carolyn Cochran

Sunday, October 15, 2017 at 3pm
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church

Sponsored by Jerry Levine, in memory of Carole Levine

  • Enescu: Romanian Rhapsody No. 1
  • Khachaturian: Violin Concerto (Chloé Trevor, violin)
  • Harberg: Solis
  • Vivaldi: Summer from The Four Seasons (Chloé Trevor, violin)
  • Dvořák: Slavonic Dances, Op. 48 Nos. 5–8

Saturday, November 18, 2017 at 7:30pm
SaddleBrooke DesertView Performing Arts Center

Sponsored by Beatrice Simpson

Sunday, November 19, 2017 at 3pm
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church

Sponsored by Bob and Donna Langwig and Howard Reeve

Diego Sánchez Haase, Guest Conductor
  • Rossini: Overture to William Tell
  • Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 3 (Yelena Beriyeva, piano)
  • Beethoven: Symphony No. 6, “Pastoral”

Saturday, January 27, 2018 at 7:30pm
SaddleBrooke DesertView Performing Arts Center

Sponsored by Pat Linder

Sunday, January 28, 2018 at 3pm
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church

Sponsored by John and Kathie Heitmann

Chinese New Year Celebration with the Tucson Sino Choir
  • Lu: Ode to the Red Flag
  • Zhou: Robe of the Clouds (Jing Xia, guzheng)
  • Liu: Great Wall Fantasy (Xiaoyin Zheng, erhu)
  • Wang-Lang: Dream of the Red Chamber

Saturday, March 10, 2018 at 7:30pm
SaddleBrooke DesertView Performing Arts Center

Sponsored by Corbett and Pat Alley

Sunday, March 11, 2018 at 3pm
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church

Sponsored by Technicians for Sustainability

  • Barber: Knoxville: Summer of 1915 (Christi Amonson, soprano)
  • Fine: Electric Guitar Concerto No. 2 (Pete Fine, guitar)
  • Poulenc: Gloria (SASO chorus; Christi Amonson, soprano)
  • Lalo: Symphonie Espagnole, Op 21 – Allegro non troppo (Jacqueline Rodenbeck, violin)

Saturday, April 14, 2018 at 7:30pm
SaddleBrooke DesertView Performing Arts Center

Sponsored by Miki Pratt

Sunday, April 15, 2018 at 3pm
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church

Sponsored by Rudi Faller

  • Theofanidis: Rainbow Body
  • Wieniawski: Violin Concerto No. 2 (Lauren Roth, violin)
  • Harberg: Solis
  • Manas: Tango Images III (Mark Nelson, tuba)
  • Tchaikovsky: Souvenir de Florence (Performed by the Tucson Junior Strings)
  • Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 (Tucson Junior Strings)
  • Ginastera: Harp Concerto, Op. 25 – Liberamente capriccioso – Vivace (Claire Thai, harp)
  • Ginastera: Estancia Ballet Suite – Danza final

SASO’s Story

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.
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 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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 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.