Date night? Make it dinner, the symphony

Dame Evelyn Glennie

This weekend is a perfect time to get away from storm issues and we suggest you hit the town this Saturday, Sept. 16 to grab dinner from one of our great local eateries and enjoy the Symphony of Southeast Texas as they open their 65th season.

Festive Beginnings kicks off the Classic Series at the Julie Rogers Theatre in downtown Beaumont.

“It says a lot about our orchestra and even more about the community because they have come out and supported us many, many years,” said Maestro Chelsea Tipton, who is serving in his eighth year as music director of the SOST.

“This concert features an outstanding world-class solo percussionist, Dame Evelyn Glennie,” said Tipton. “One thing that is very unique about Glennie is that she is also deaf, and she has been able to have an incredible career and is so talented.”

Grammy Award winner Glennie, who has more than 30 years experience, travels all over the world attracting large audiences of all age groups with her stunning, one-of-a-kind performances. She is recognized for her unique musical ability despite having lost her hearing at a young age. She now teaches her audiences how to listen to music from her perspective.

Tipton and the SOST will begin this concert with Wagner’s powerful overture “Ride of the Valkyries,” and Glennie will perform on a variety of percussion instruments, bringing you Joseph Schwantner’s “Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra.”

A leading commissioner of new works for solo percussion, Glennie has more than 200 pieces to her name from many of the world’s most eminent composers. She believes this has been crucial to her success as a solo percussionist

“It’s important that I continue to commission and collaborate with a diverse range of composers whilst recognizing the young talent coming through,” said Glennie.

The SOST will perform an Ottorino Respighi piece titled “Roman Festivals.” Respighi is a composer who lived in the early 20th century, and this piece calls for a huge orchestra and it really describes life in Rome hundreds of years ago, but does it with tone painting.

“You will hear a large mandolin, two pianos on stage, off-stage brass, and different types of sounds,” said Tipton. “Most of the pieces that Glennie is playing and the Respighi, the symphony has never performed before, and it says a lot about how this orchestra has grown over all these years.”

Tipton added, “One of the things we have always tried to do is to help break down the music, and I talk about the music from the stage, so it gives people some insight. Music has a way of helping people to heal and for us going through the difficult times, it will help the city come back to a sense of normalcy. We felt it was really important to go ahead and have this performance.”

Tickets start at $27 and can be purchased online at

The remaining dates of the 2017-18 season are Oct. 14, Nov. 11, Dec. 3 and March 10.