The East Texas Symphony Orchestra hosted a jazz night Thursday at True Vine Brewing Co., packing the outdoor venue with a fun show.
While enjoying pizzas and drinks, guests were able to enjoy ETSO performing a different kind of music.
“It’s really fun for our musicians to think outside the box and play something really fun and exciting. The crowd loves it,” said Robin Hampton, executive director of the East Texas Symphony Orchestra.
Roland Muzquiz, principal percussionist at ETSO, said the event gave musicians a “less formal setting” and helped them connect with people who might not attend their concerts.
“It gives us a chance to reconnect with our base in the town of Tyler, with our followers in a less formal setting. You can go out, choose a table, eat a pizza and just enjoy. It’s a nice piece to play,” he said.
“The series started last summer here; ETSO has collaborated with True Vine Brewing Co. to provide some services to orchestra members to somewhat compensate for the loss of services due to the COVID pandemic. So it was a positive way to provide an opportunity for some musicians to have another way to perform and also generate income.
Hampton said the jazz concert was the second time this summer that ETSO performed at True Vine and they were thrilled to be back.
The performance consisted of two different sets and the musicians who performed were Muzquiz, Steve Brown, James Sims, George Faber, Vicho Vicencio and special guest Anita Faber.
Hampton spoke about the importance of providing accessible concerts for East Texas residents.
“Our free concerts are our way of saying thank you for supporting us and being a part of this,” she said. “20% of our revenue comes from ticket sales and everything else comes from the generosity of this community, and we are very grateful for that,”
In addition to free shows or large orchestra performances, ETSO also offers collaborative educational concerts in partnership with school districts.
Hampton said there are several ways to help, such as donating to the organization and the general fund, sponsoring musicians, funding educational programs, and also making major donations that sponsor concerts.
Hampton said the next concert scheduled is the second annual Symphony in the Park at 7 p.m. Sept. 3 in Bergfeld Park, which is free to the public. The show will feature show tunes, patriotic pieces and popular classical music, she said.
“It’s really important for our community to get to know us and for our community to come out and celebrate. We have a gem in our community by having a symphony orchestra,” she said.