The Symphony Takes Over Sam Houston

Sam Houston State University’s Symphony Orchestra will be making history on Sept. 30 at 7:30 p.m. in the Concert Hall of the Gaertner Performing Arts Center. This performance marks a significant event, not only for the school, but for the world of classical music as well.

The orchestra will be performing Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 1, a piece that has never been performed on American soil. Written in 1866 in Linz, Germany, this piece was originally performed by an orchestra slightly smaller than the one at SHSU and in a hall half the size of the GPAC. This version was recently found and edited by Thomas Roder, and has since only been performed once, in Salzburg about two years ago. Sam Houston’s symphony believe that they present the perfect place to bring the grandeur of this piece alive for the first time in the United States.

To make this event even more memorable, Assistant Professor of Musicology Mario Aschauer will be providing the audience with a discussion on Bruckner, his life and music, and his Symphony No.1 before the orchestra performs the work.

The symphony has been preparing this piece since late August, to ensure that Bruckner’s Symphony is represented in a manner the piece deserves. With the bar set high, there is a lot of pressure for these students to perform. The leadership understands the pressure though, and that many faculty have juggled both academics and orchestra in the past.

“I did spend 14 years being a college student, and I think this continues to help me relate to my students,” said Jacob Sustaita, professor of orchestral activities. “It wasn’t so long ago that I sat in the viola section and played the great masterpieces of the classical repertoire.”

According to Sustaita, The SHSU Symphony Orchestra stands out among university orchestras primarily because of the student’s depth of musical understanding and personality.

“Our orchestra creates a sound and musical experience that rivals the top conservatory orchestras,” Sustaita said. “The concert experience with the SHSU Symphony Orchestra is always very moving and exciting.”

Presenting this piece is a huge step for both the University and for the world of classical music, and with Sam Houston’s orchestra at the helm, this historical event should go off without a hitch.

The performance is expected to be an hour long. Tickets are $15 for general admission, $12 for seniors and $5 for students and children. You can buy the tickets online by visiting There will be a secondary exhibition of the piece on Nov. 8.

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