Summer Music Camp 2023 Recap

Austin College Summer Music Camp 2023 was a huge success! What began in 2022 as a small program has grown tremendously, and we look forward to the future of this program.

Here’s a brief overview of ACSMC 2023:

  • 92 students joined us from the following cities: Sherman, Denison, McKinney, Pottsboro, Howe, Van Alstyne, Trenton, Colbert, Anna, Bonham, Savoy, Bells, Gordonville, Melissa, Whitesboro, Leonard, Pilot Point
  • ACSMC 2023 was open to middle and high school strings, brass, woodwinds, percussion, and voice (2022: strings, brass, woodwinds only)
  • For comparison, 40 students attended in our first year, 2022. 18 of those students returned as campers in 2023, and two former campers returned as members of the staff.
  • 14 faculty joined us from Austin College, Sherman Symphony Orchestra, and the following school districts: Sherman, Denison, Denton, McKinney, Plano, Prosper
  • All 2022 faculty returned in 2023, and we added faculty from McKinney, Sherman, and Austin College to create opportunities for percussion and voice students.
  • Our staff of 8 people consisted of current AC students and former ACSMC campers
  • Each student participated in a chamber group (~4-6 musicians) as well as a larger ensemble.
  • All students took two electives each day, choosing from the following: Music Theory, Music History, Conducting, Jazz Improvisation
  • Camp faculty and guest artists provided daily performances and topical presentations for the students
  • The camp recital on June 16 filled Wynne Chapel - standing room only! 20 student chamber groups and 7 large ensembles shared their work. All students demonstrated their ability to learn and perform brand-new music in five days.

KXII news piece, June 12, 2023

Stay tuned for information about ACSMC 2024!


SSOA hires first ever full-time Executive Director!

The SSOA announces new full-time Executive Director, Aaron Bucy

The Sherman Symphony Orchestra Association (SSOA) has hired its first-ever full-time Executive Director!  "This is a big step in the natural evolution of our organization," says Music Director Daniel Dominick.  "Having an Executive Director positions us to lead in a time for historic growth in Sherman and north Texas.  We are excited to welcome Aaron Bucy to the SSOA and look for great things to come with his leadership and experience."

The Sherman Symphony Orchestra Association (SSOA) is a local non-profit Board of Directors that oversees the operations of the 58-year-old Sherman Symphony Orchestra (SSO), including educational programs and artistic programs. The organization oversees production of 7 – 9 symphony concerts each season and educational programs that serve more than 3000 area students. Sherman and all of North Texas are growing at a fantastic rate and the SSOA is matching that growth.

Mr. Bucy arrives just in time to begin running the 2023 - 2024 concert season ticket sales, season brochure mailing, and many other details that the start of the season entails.  "It's a busy time, but we are excited to have new leadership and new ideas," says Music Director Dominick.

Spring Concert Spotlight: Youth Choirs Join SSO for ‘Carmen’

Education is the foundation of our mission, and we are happy to include area youth choirs in our spring concert! Three student ensembles will participate in the April 29th performance.

Children’s Chorus of Greater North Texas

Led by Heidi Scheibmeir, the Children’s Chorus and Grads’ Chorus provide choral performance opportunities for vocalists from third grade through college.

Sherman High School Varsity Mixed Choir

The Sherman High School Varsity Mixed Choir is the most advanced vocal ensemble at SHS. A former Bearcat herself, Heidi Scheibmeir began leading the SHS choirs in 2022.

Austin College A Cappella Choir

The Austin College A Cappella Choir was founded in 1946, fifty years after the first vocal ensembles at Austin College. It was modeled after the collegiate glee clubs made popular in the U.S. in the 20’s and 30‘s and still draws its inspiration from choirs like those at St. Olaf and Westminster Choir College. The A Cappella Choir is also the primary touring ensemble of Austin College, having appeared throughout the U.S. and in most of the countries of Europe. The Choir is an auditioned ensemble made up of students studying in all fields, with the majority planning careers in medicine, law, education, and business. Former Choir members are also professional performers, conductors, and music educators. Dr. Wayne Crannell has led the ensemble for the past 28 years. 

Local Leaders Join SSOA Board

The SSOA has named 6 new local leaders as our newest members of the SSOA Advisory Council:

As part of the SSOA’s Advisory Council, these leaders will help the Council to identify community needs and suggest new ways that the SSOA can serve our region.  Please help us welcome and thank them for their service!

21st Annual Children’s Educational Concerts

On November 3, nearly 2400 5th graders from across the region attended the 21st annual Children’s Educational Concerts at Kidd-Key Auditorium. With students from 29 different schools, the audiences for these concerts were the largest the SSO has ever seen. This year’s program included a new element – a sing-along – that required students and teachers to learn a chorus part in advance. These interactive and informative concerts are offered free of charge each year so that students can learn more about the orchestra, and see and hear instruments that they will soon have an opportunity to learn to play themselves. This year’s concerts were sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, Texas Commission on the Arts, and First United Bank.

To see more about this year’s program, check out KXII and the Herald Democrat’s excellent coverage of these concerts:

Sherman fifth graders attend educational concerts

Photography: Todd Kleiboer, Sherman ISD

For more information about the Children’s Educational Concerts, click here:

Children’s Educational Concert

SSO Featured in County Line Magazine

Last month, the Sherman Symphony Orchestra was featured in a County Line Magazine article, “Symphonies Enrich Lives Across the Region,” by Lisa Tang. Read more about the SSO here. 

It’s Concert Week!

We are opening the 2022-2023 season with a big concert that will feature Brahms’ Symphony No.1 in C Minor.  It’s a fantastic work with emotions that run the gamut from stormy despair to wild hope to a final acceptance of the world as a beautiful place to be.  This symphony will lift your spirits and make you glad you came!  We’ll also play two Danzons by the contemporary Mexican composer, Arturo Márquez.  These are strongly rhythmic dances with a wide range of feeling and soaringly beautiful melodies.  Don’t miss this concert!

Students attend this concert FREE of charge.

Purchase tickets here:

October 22 — Brahms, Symphony No. 1

2022 Fall Fundraiser: Harmony Harvest

The 2022 fall fundraiser, Harmony Harvest, was a wonderful event! With delicious food from Monet’s Bistro and fantastic music from the Travis Street Band, it was a great evening with friends.

We would once again like to thank our sponsors:
Homestead Winery
Bayless-Hall Insurance
Rio to Red Winery
Shout Out! Signs
Bank of Texas
Stacey Olmstead – Paragon Realtors

Please join us for our season opener at Kidd-Key on Saturday, October 22!

Catalin Dima: Free Piano Recital Thursday, October 13

On Thursday, October 13, Catalin Dima will present a recital at Wynne Chapel, Austin College. This program is free and open to the public.

Hailed as a pianist that displays “an expressive and unleashed interpretation, transcending all the technical challenges of the score…a gift to the audience” (Romanian Music Radio), Catalin Dima has established himself as one of the leading artists of his generation. His recital appearances and engagements with orchestras have brought him to venues throughout the United States and his native Romania. In his pursuit for innovative programming, Catalin combines mainstream and rare piano repertoire, often focusing on Romanian, American, and Japanese composers. Currently, Catalin is the Instructor of Piano at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. He is also the founder of the Texoma Piano Competition and the artistic director of the Musical Arts Series at SE.

Thursday, October 13, 7:30pm
Clifford J. Grum Sanctuary, Wynne Chapel
Austin College
900 N. Grand Ave, Sherman


Franz Liszt – “Elegie” no. 2

Maurice Ravel – “Ondine”
(1875-1937)    – “Oiseaux tristes”
– “Scarbo”

Sergei Bortkiewicz – “Esquisse de Crimee”:
(1877-1952)        III. Idylle Orientale
IV. Chaos

George Enescu – “Carillon nocturne”

Paul Constantinescu – “Cantec”
(1909-1963)         - “Joc Dobrogean”

SSO Receives National Endowment for the Arts Grant

The Sherman Symphony Orchestra is pleased to announce that they are receiving a grant of $10,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to support its educational outreach programs. 

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support organizations across the country, including the Sherman Symphony Orchestra. The arts help communities to thrive,” said Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD., chair of the National Endowment for the Arts. “Meaningful engagement with the arts can have many benefits, from contributing to collective healing and mutual understanding, to strengthening local economies.”

The Sherman Symphony’s education programs engage developing minds by providing affordable, high quality music education. Since 2002, The 5th grade Children’s Educational Concert has been many students’ first live orchestral experience: 2,000 students learn instrument families, concert etiquette, and various genres of music each year. In addition, as many as 400 students see classical concerts annually through the Free Student Ticket Program. Sherman High School Media students have the unique opportunity to record Classical Series concerts through the Symphony’s Broadcast partnership with local news channel KXII. 

While band programs are common in Grayson County, Sherman hosts the only string orchestra program. Most Sherman orchestra students face economic challenges: 68% of Sherman ISD students are economically disadvantaged, and only 15% of orchestra students receive private lessons. Since 2019, all Sherman orchestra students have benefited from sectionals with Symphony musicians through SSO Scholars. Practice Partners is an after-school peer mentoring program that pairs beginning orchestra students with high school string players for monthly practice sessions. 2nd-4th grade students enjoy chamber music presentations and performances as Musical Chairs brings Sherman Symphony musicians to area schools. A collaboration with the Sherman Symphony and Austin College, Austin College Summer Music Camp is a middle and high school day camp that cultivates musical development through rehearsing and performing chamber music.

“We are thrilled to be able to continue supporting students’ education with a wide variety of musical experiences. The Sherman Symphony Orchestra was founded with the intention of sharing music and educational opportunities with students in the greater Texoma region, and this grant enables us to further our mission in a rapidly growing community.” Leslie Whelan, SSO Education Director

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit to learn more.