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Brazosport Symphony Orchestra

Immerse yourself in live orchestral music with the Brazosport Symphony Orchestra!

  • Experience classical favorites, pop arrangements and world premieres LIVE…the way they were intended to be heard.
  • Join one of the fastest-growing audiences of classical music lovers.
  • Celebrate the world of music in a world-class venue with amazing sound.
  • Introduce the whole family to symphonic music affordably, without worrying about parking or big city traffic.

BSO 2021/2022 Season

Bella Italia!

October 2, 2021

7:30 PM

The Clarion at Brazosport College


November 13, 2021

7:30 PM

The Clarion at Brazosport College

A Christmas Celebration

December 18, 2021

7:30 PM

The Clarion at Brazosport College

Playing with Fire!

February 5, 2022

7:30 PM

The Clarion at Brazosport College

Jazz Meets Classical: An Evening with Robert Walzel

April 2, 2022

7:30 PM

The Clarion at Brazosport College

Dreams of Youth (including 2022 Whit Phillips Memorial Young Artists Competition)

May 7, 2022

7:30 PM

The Clarion at Brazosport College

  • About
  • Volunteer
  • Membership
  • History
  • Affiliations
  • Education
  • Special Events
  • Leadership

About Brazosport Symphony Orchestra

Brazosport Symphony Orchestra is a world-class symphony orchestra based in southern Brazoria County. Under the direction of Brian Casey, the orchestra presents a full season of classical and pops concerts in The Clarion Music Performance Hall at Brazosport College. Brazosport Symphony Orchestra is registered as a 501(c)(3) not for profit charitable and educational organization with the Internal Revenue Services. Donations to Brazosport Symphony Orchestra are tax-deductible.

Volunteer with Brazosport Symphony Orchestra

How can I become a musician with Brazosport Symphony Orchestra?
Please contact Brian Casey at or Paula Matzke at

What if I don’t play an instrument?
We have other opportunities for you to be involved with the Symphony. Brazosport Symphony League is an active organization that helps support the Symphony and its players. For more information, contact Neldia Alhquist at


Full Circle Membership

Membership Benefits (beginning September 2021)

Enjoy an exciting season at The Center (and beyond) with memberships to each Partner Group with this “all in” membership! Price is valid through October 31, 2021.
Membership includes:
Basic Brazosport Fine Arts Council Membership (voting level membership) + $30 Donation to BFAC Operating Endowment Fund
Single Artist Brazosport Art League Membership
Flex Tickets to Brazosport Center Stages (5 adult tickets – reservations required)
Individual Brazosport Museum of Natural Science Membership
Individual BASF Planetarium Membership 
Flex Tickets to Brazosport Symphony Orchestra (5 adult tickets- reservations required)

Brazosport Symphony Orchestra Membership

Membership Benefits (beginning September 2021)

Adult Membership/Season Tickets (6 tickets total) – $150 each.
Student Membership/Season Tickets (6 tickets total) – $96 each.

Members have the option to choose the same seats as the 2019-2020 season, select new seats or make their membership Flex Tickets. 
Please allow two business days for processing. 

Flex ticket holders are encouraged to reserve tickets prior to the night of the concert by calling (979) 265-7661 during The Center’s regular business hours (Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM) or selecting seats via online ticketing. Tickets may be redeemed the night of the concert, pending availability.

History of Brazosport Symphony Orchestra

In 1981, Dr. Samuel Jones, Director of Rice University’s newly formed Shepherd School of Music, contacted Jeralyn Friedli, a former player living in Lake Jackson. Dr. Jones said he had a promising conducting student named Jim Hagberg who wished to become the conductor of a community orchestra after graduation.

In the Spring of 1982, Clayton Gilpin, President of the Brazosport Music Theater, (which later merged with the Little Theater of Brazosport to become Brazosport Center Stages), called Jeralyn to determine the possibility of starting an orchestra under the sponsorship of the Music Theater. Jim Hagberg was invited to attend a meeting with Gilpin, Friedli and Margaret Davis, a local musician with two children who played the violin. Hagberg was graduating from Rice University with a Masters in conducting in May 1982.

Since Hagberg was not available until the summer of 1982, Davis gathered a small group of students and community people to form a string ensemble under the direction of Bill Atkerson, a former high school orchestra director. An August concert was held at the Music Theater and was very well received. In the fall of 1982 that small string group became the nucleus for the Brazosport Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Jim Hagberg. Hagberg was hired by the Brazosport Music Theater to conduct one rehearsal per week and three concerts for the 1982-83 season. A sum of $600 was collected from the community and added to the Music Theater treasury, from which Hagberg was paid $50 per month.

In the summer of 1983 Friedli and Linda Claiborne, another mother of a violinist, worked to organize a Symphony Board of Directors and Symphony League. These groups were to operate and maintain the Brazosport Symphony Orchestra. A charter was received from the State of Texas in 1983 and Federal non-profit status was received in 1984. The Board of Directors started with nine members, but has increased over time to 27 members. The board is organized into working committees that function well and keep the orchestra operating within budget.

Since 1984, the Symphony has continued to grow in its quantity of players, audience and budget. The quality of its performances has improved greatly and additional concerts have been added. The Symphony and its League continue in their relationship to The Center, as affiliate organizations of Brazosport Center Stages. In 2006, Brazosport Symphony Orchestra moved its rehearsals and concerts to the newly opened The Clarion Music Performance Hall at Brazosport College. Many exceptional soloists have performed with the Brazosport Symphony Orchestra, both from within the community and outside professionals.

In 2006 the Symphony revitalized its Young Artists Competition for string players. The winner received a $500 scholarship and the opportunity to play with the orchestra. In 2017, the competition was renamed the Whit Phillips Memorial Young Artists Competition, in memory of locally trained music student and performer, Whit Phillips. More information about this competition can be found in the Education section of this page.


James G. Hagberg (co-founder): 1982 – 2003

Dr. John Ricarte: 2003 – 2018

Brian Casey: 2018 – present

Brazosport Symphony Orchestra Affiliations

Brazosport Symphony League

Brazosport Symphony League is a dues-paying organization that supports the Brazosport Symphony Orchestra and music education in the community. Prior to each Symphony concert, BSL members meet to learn about the music for that concert. During the concert, League members can be seen helping audience members find their seats and answering questions at The Clarion as ushers. They are also a welcome sight during intermission behind the refreshment counter. To become a member, print and complete the form found at this link and mail to:

Brazosport Symphony League

400 College Blvd

Clute, TX 77531

The Clarion at Brazosport College

The Clarion at Brazosport College is a magnificent 600-seat performance hall designed to meet the highest acoustical standards for today’s live music performances. The beautiful ambience of The Clarion features a stunning, two-story lobby graced with a specially commissioned bronze sculpture entitled “Spirit of Music,” as well as rehearsal halls for vocal and instrumental music, individual practice rooms, faculty offices, classrooms, and green room. The Clarion encompass approximately 29,000 square feet of custom-designed space, providing an exciting venue for the performance, appreciation, and learning opportunities of music.

“Clarion” denotes a medieval trumpet with a clear, ringing tone; the clarion call is a bright fanfare from the trumpet, an instrument that plays a vital part in all types of music. The “Spirit of Music” bronze sculpture in The Clarion lobby will be an impressive angelic figure with clarion aloft, calling all to the appreciation of music. The word clarion comes to our language through Middle English and Old French from the Latin clarus, meaning clear.

More information about The Clarion and its season can be found by going to the following website:


The Whit Phillips Memorial Young Artists Competition

2021-2022 Season 

$1,000 Prize to the Young Artist of the Year 

Prizes also awarded to each category division winner. 

Open to Brazoria County music students grades K-12. Auditions on string, brass, wind, percussion, piano or voice. 

Application deadline: January 12, 2022 

Auditions: January 30, 2022; 2:00 PM; The Clarion Concert Hall at Brazosport College 

Winners may be invited to perform with BSO: May 7, 2022

Click here for guidelines & application.

For additional information contact your Orchestra, Band, or Choir Director or private lesson music teacher. 

Brazosport Symphony Orchestra Special Events


Brazosport Symphony Orchestra is teaming up with the SPCA of Brazoria County for an amazing day ALL about animals! Mark your calendar now for an exciting day of events on Saturday, November 13.

From 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM, head up to The Center for crafts and games, an instrument “petting zoo”, animals from the SPCA you can adopt on the spot, and MORE!

THEN, make plans to join us at 7:30 PM at The Clarion for BSO’s concert, “Animusicology,” a musical tribute to animals. The concert includes Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, featuring narration by Wes Copeland!

Downbeat Virtual Fundraiser

Are you ready to commit to sponsoring Brazosport Symphony Orchestra’s 2021-2022 season and its “Downbeat! Start the Music” fundraiser in September?
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to show your support to this wonderful organization that brings beautiful music to our community!


Art❤️Strings is a fundraising project to support Brazosport Symphony Orchestra. Hurricane Harvey left many damaged violins in its wake prompting the painting, carving and embellishing of violins and auctioning them to benefit the orchestra. The series has reached seven as it has gained momentum.

A seventh installment of this project is bejeweled and autographed by singer/composer/actress Dolly Parton.

Brazosport Symphony Orchestra Leadership
Conductor & Music Director
Brian Casey
Concert Master
Darren Tidwell
Paula Matzke
Gary Rodgers
Recording Secretary
Rachel Cloeter
Corresponding Secretary
Linda Bartholome
Pat Quirk
Vice President
Susan Zollers
Council Member
Neldia Ahlquist
Council Member
Ron Bachman
Council Member
Wanda Buckner
Council Member
Linda Crummel
Council Member
Kathy Lee Davis
Council Member
Justin Garcia
Council Member
Jeri Gibbs
Council Member
Dr. Jonathan Grady
Council Member
Mingo Marquez
Council Member
Brianna Mitchell
Council Member
Betty Phillips
Council Member
Tere Sandlin
Council Member
Torry Tvedt
Council Member
Erica Steiner