Tuesday, January 21 & 28, 2020

First Tickets – eager new orchestra students arrive at the Irving Arts Center on school buses from Irving Independent School District’s DeZavala Johnson, Austin, Lamar and Travis Middle Schools.

Just beginning their own orchestra studies as sixth graders, these students met with our director and musicians, learned more of instruments’ sounds, how music can tell a story, and brought their families to a  “Sundays at the Symphony” concert with free “First Tickets.”

And this year, their “backstage tour” showed them the technical side of a concert – technicians, lighting and sound effects!



January 22, 2019

For Irving’s sixth-grade orchestra students… a chance to be there for a working rehearsal!

We didn’t know how much excitement First Tickets would create until we saw their faces.  These sixth graders coming onstage to watch a rehearsal and concert just for them, were beginning their own “careers” as orchestra musicians. And they were going to get a look up-close, onstage, at how an orchestra rehearses.

They could even interrupt the conductor and ask questions (They did.)

January 22, 2019, students came on school buses from two of Irving’s 8 middle schools – De Zavala and Travis. They met players, were “introduced” to instruments they’d never seen close-up at a “working rehearsal” that Tuesday night, then could bring their families of up to 5 persons to the actual concert, February 10.

Over the season, each of the eight Irving ISD middle schools will participate in “First Tickets,” bringing school buses of students and their orchestra directors for “Sundays at the Symphony” concerts at the Irving Arts Center’s Carpenter Hall, and inviting parents and families to join them.

It’s one of the ways the orchestra works with schools – helping these new orchestra players get off to a good start, the first year they begin to play in an orchestra. The five-year-old program, created to meet Irving ISD priorities, has been funded since the beginning with a major grant from the Granville C. and Gladys H. Morton Fund, Communities Foundation of Texas.