Our History

In 1981, a small group of volunteers met to discuss the possibilities of having a symphony orchestra in Big Spring, TX. 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. For the first two seasons, they decided to contract with the Midland-Odessa Symphony Orchestra to present three concerts each season in Big Spring. On 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  the first music director and music librarian. She served as the music director from 1983 to 1990.

The Big Spring Symphony Guild was later organized as a support arm to assist in raising funds for the orchestra through social events and promoting music education through several programs, including a music scholarship program.

From the very outset, the Symphony Board aimed for quality orchestral programs, featuring regional, nationally and internationally acclaimed guest artists. In 1983, we sponsored our first annual appearance of the Fort Worth Chamber Orchestra. Although, the Fort Worth Chamber Orchestra no longer performs, we kept a great relationship with John Read Giordano, Music Director Emeritus of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. He has guest conducted the Big Spring Symphony in many occasions since 1983.

In 1991, Gene Smith was hired as the new music director. He added a “Pops” concert to the end of each season. Also, since 1992 the orchestra has presented a patriotic concert at the Comanche Trail amphitheater called “Pops in the Park” for the July 4th celebration. Her served as music director until 1999. Board president, Stan Hanes directed the orchestra for a season, while the symphony conducted a search for the music director position.

In the Fall of 2001, Dr. Keith Graumann, a Big Spring Native, was hired as Music Director and Conductor. He served on this role until his death on March 10, 2023. He made several contributions to the performing arts culture in West Texas. 

The 2023-24 was made with guest conductors. After that period, Dr. Fagner Magrinelli Rocha, Associate Professor of Music and Director of Orchestral Activities at Angelo State University was appointed as the new Music Director on May 7, 2024. Dr. Rocha plans on starting an Educational Concert series, and a brand new Community Series, which will take one free chamber orchestra concert a year to local churches.

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!