photo by TONY CLAXTON
Music Director and Conductor
Dr. Keith Graumann celebrates the nineteenth concert season as Music Director and Conductor of the Big Spring Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. A native of Big Spring, Texas, he has enjoyed a widely varied musical career as performer, conductor, educator and scholar in community, semi-professional, collegiate, church and school venues. He attented Texas Christian University and the University of Oklahoma on full tuition scholarships. He earned the Bachelor of Music Education, the Master off Music Theory and Composition, and the Doctor of Music Arts degrees. While at Oklahoma, he held positions as Assistant Conductor of the University of Oklahoma Symphony Orchestra and the state-wide Oklahoma Youth Orchestra, Music Director of Hillcrest Christian Church, and as founding conductor of the Norman Community Choral Society.
He has held positions as Director of Choral Activities at Brazosport College, Lake Jackson, Texas, and at Livingston University, Alabama. Choruses under his direction have also appeared with the Oklahoma City, Birmingham, Brazosport, Meridian and Midland-Odessa Symphony Orchestras. He was interim-conductor of the Midland-Odessa Symphony Chorale during the 2001-2002 concert season.
Highly respected for his versatility, Graumann at various times in his career has also conducted Broadday musicals, modern dance, ballet, and jazz and popular music ensembles, wind ensemble, and marching band. Trained as pianist and church organist, he led the popular “Not so loud band” from the keyboard at many university and community functions.
Graumann was awarded a one year Fullbright Fellowship to Italy, after which he gained international recognition for his research and publications on the music of Vivaldi. In Italy, he also met his wife, the former Ann Barrow of Arbroath, Scotland.
He studied Orchestral Conducting with Legh Burns, Sir Guy Fraser Harrison and John Giordano. His Choral Conducting teachers include B. R. Henson and Dennis Shrock. He is privileged to have done further study with such notables as scholar Julius Hereford, conductor Robert Shaw, and composers Aaron Copland and Daniel Pinkham. He is a member of the Conductors Guild, Pi Kappa Lambda, the American Choral Directors Association, the League of American Orchestras and the Fulbright Association.
Also actiev in the community, he is a member of the Greater Big Spring Rotary Club and was an Assistant District Governor of Rotary International. An Eagle Boy Scout in his youth, he served ont he advisory council and Eagle board of review for the Buffalo Trail Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He was honored in May, 2012 with the annual “Good Scout Award”. He served on the Board of Directors for KPBT, the Permian Basin PBS television station. He serves as chair of the board for CMEF, the Childrens Music Education Foundation.
photo by TONY CLAXTON
In 1981, a small group of volunteers met to discuss the possibilities of having a symphony orchestra in Big Spring. They lacked experience but were loaded with optimism and enthusiasm. They incorporated as the Big Spring Symphony Association, Inc., elected officers, recruited other eager volunteers and decided to contract with the Midland-Odessa Symphony Orchestra to present three concerts each season in Big Spring.
The third season, the group decided to become totally independent. With the umbrella support of the Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Marianna Gabbi, conductor of the Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra, was hired as director and music librarian and we were on our way.
The Big Spring Symphony Guild was organized as a support arm to assist in raising funds for the orchestra through social events, etc. The Guild promotes music education through annual scholarships to deserving high school and college students.
From the very outset, the Symphony Board aimed for quality orchestral programs, featuring internationally acclaimed guest
In 1983, we sponsored our first annual appearance by the Fort Worth Chamber Orchestra. Although, the Fort Worth Chamber Orchestra no longer performs, we are honored each year to sponsor John Read Giordano as guest conductor, Music Director Emeritus of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, where he served as Music Director and Conductor for 28 years. He is the founder of the Fort Worth Chamber Orchestra and Jury Chairman of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition since 1973.
A native of Big Spring, Dr. Keith Graumann celebrates his seventeenth concert season as Music Director and Conductor of the Big Spring symphony Orchestra and Chorus.
Along with renowned guest artists, the “Big Spring Natives Concerts” were begun in 1988. A “Pops” concert was added to each season in 1990. Also, since 1990 the orchestra has presented a patriotic concert
at the amphitheater Pops in the Park July 4th celebration.
The Board of Directors
“Welcome Music Lovers!
Please join us as we celebrate our 40th Anniversary with a season filled with incredible music! The title of the season is, “Home is Where the Heart Is.” As we celebrate live performances again, we will be featuring some outstanding guest musicians as they perform with our own wonderful Big Spring Symphony Orchestra musicians!
Our season opens September 25, 2021, with a performance entitled “A Breath of Fresh Air,” featuring guest violin soloist Dr. Fagner Rocha as the orchestra performs the first movement of Joseph Haydn’s “Violin Concerto No. 2 in G Major”. The orchestra will also be performing the popular “Grand Canyon Suite” by Ferde Grofe, as well as, Ludwig van Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony – ‘Pastoral Symphony’.
On Saturday December 18th we will perform our “Holiday Spectacular” with wonderful festive music to help prepare you for the holiday season! The concert will feature the return of vocal soloists Tara Trowbridge and Lawrence Thibeault. It will also feature the Big Spring High School Vox Anime and Meistersingers under the direction of Gershom Garcia. You will not want to miss this concert!
On January 22nd we will welcome Jeans N Classics under Musical Director Peter Brennan in a concert that, unfortunately, we have had to reschedule several times due Covid travel restrictions. The group will be presenting a concert entitled “Bohemian Rhapsody” and will feature the music of Freddie Mercury and Queen!!!
Join us Saturday February 19th for our “Winter Concert,” and help us celebrate Maestro John Giordano’s last concert with the Big Spring Symphony Orchestra. Maestro Giordano is the Conductor Emeritus for the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. He has been a guest conductor for our orchestra on MANY occasions and is a great friend of our orchestra. He always has some incredible stories. We will miss him, but we are thrilled to have one more opportunity to perform under his baton! The concert will also feature guest performers from area schools sitting side by side with their orchestra counterparts!
Our final concert will be held April 23rd. This will be our annual “Pops Concert,” and we will have an announcement in the near future concerning our featured guest performer. You will definitely want to put this one on your calendar!
We know this will be a season you will not want to miss!
Season tickets, as well as, tickets for individual concerts are available on our website: www.bigspringsymphony.org
Individual ticket prices are $20 for adults and $15 for seniors. All students through college age are admitted without charge. Season subscriptions are $60 for adults and $45 for seniors (55 plus).
We thank you for your support and look forward to seeing you at each and every concert throughout the season!
Mark Watt, President, Big Spring Symphony Board of Directors
Board of Directors
Deanna Burnett Angie Byerly Jobeth Corwin Joseph Dawes
Keith Graumann Londa Henry Rocky Harris Linda Lindell
Santos, Lujan Gabriel Martinez Suzanne Markham Justin Rice
Natalie Permenter Nadine Reyes Lawrence Thibeault Mark Watt
Our purpose is to support our symphony not only monetarily but to educate our community on the importance of music as a part of our culture.
Fundraising: Program Ad Sales, Tour of Homes and our annual luncheon and fashion show. We sell water and have a “Tips for Scholarships” Jar at every concert. We accept both corporate and private donations.
Education: The Nutcracker in a Nutshell, Instrument Petting Zoo, and The Phyllis Graumann Memorial Scholarship for young musicians. We also mentor students through a volunteer program where they can earn Community Service Hours.
Suzanne Markwell – President
Jobeth Corwin – Vice President
Pauline Nelson – Treasurer
Natalie Permenter – Secretary/Publicity
Ellen Austin – Hospitality
The Big Spring Symphony Orchestra exists because of the generosity of our community and people like you. If you would like to donate to the Symphony, click the button below to get started.
If you’re interested in learning even more information, or would like to talk to someone from the Big Spring Symphony, give us a shout!