“Jazz Meets Classical: Featuring Robert Walzel” concert featured in The Facts

The Facts featured Brazosport Symphony Orchestra’s Jazz Meets Classical: Featuring Robert Walzel in today’s (4/1) paper in advance of the upcoming concert, scheduled for Saturday, April 2 at 7:30 PM at The Clarion.

BSO president Paula Matzke talked about the concert’s special guests (and former Lake Jackson residents) Walzel and Jill Wagner Stewart, as well as the contribution of Ryan Lindveit, who composed an original piece featuring the melodies composed by the 2022 Young Melody winners. This year’s winners are three young ladies from local elementary and intermediate schools: Evalyn Pearson, Dianaly Torres and Susanne Espinoza.

Read the story online at The Facts and THEN purchase your tickets to the concert!

Brazosport Symphony Orchestra to share stage with 2022 Young Melody winners

Brazosport Symphony Orchestra’s upcoming concert, “Jazz Meets Classical: Featuring Robert Walzel”, scheduled for Saturday, April 2 at The Clarion will feature several special guests. In addition to performances by former Lake Jackson resident Walzel, the concert will include the three winners from BSO’s 2022 Young Melody Challenge.

The annual contest invites elementary, middle and junior high students to submit their own melodies for judging. The winning melodies are given to composer and Lake Jackson native Ryan Lindveit, who creates an original song incorporating the students’ melodies.

BSO will perform the world premiere of this piece with the young composers on stage helping BSO conductor Brian Casey conduct the piece.

This year’s winners include the following students:

  • Evalyn Pearson is a second-grade student at AP Beutel Elementary in Lake Jackson. Evalyn’s winning melody is called “Ocean Evalyn“.  Evalyn’s music teacher, Ms. Narlene Plank, plays flute with BSO.
  • Dianaly Torres is a fifth-grade student at Clute Intermediate School. Dianaly’s winning melody is titled “Dianaly’s Blooming Notes“.  Dianaly’s music teacher, Ms. Marie Sanders, sings with the Brazosport College and Community Choir and has performed on stage with BSO.
  • Susanne Espinoza is a fifth-grade student at Clute Intermediate School. Susanne’s winning melody is called “Sunrise“.  Susanne’s orchestra teacher, Mr. Darren Tidwell, plays violin and is BSO’s Concertmaster.

Don’t miss out on seeing Walzel and the award-winning young composers. Reserve your seats NOW!






Evalyn with BSO conductor Brian Casey

Dianaly with Maestro Casey

Susanne with Mr. Casey

Brazosport Symphony Orchestra welcomes Lake Jackson native for upcoming concert

Brazosport Symphony Orchestra is welcoming home Lake Jackson’s own Robert Walzel in Jazz Meets Classical: Featuring Robert Walzel on Saturday, April 2 at 7:30 PM at The Clarion. This concert will also include BSO’s Young Melody Competition winners.


Since 2010, Robert Walzel has served as dean of the University of Kansas School of Music. Performing extensively in essentially all mediums featuring clarinet and saxophone, he is hailed by critics as a “remarkable clarinet virtuoso” possessing “great finesse”, a “rich, warm, focused tone” and “effortless technique.” Featured in performances throughout the United States and around the world, Walzel has performed in 30 countries and presented master classes and lectures at several of the world’s leading music schools.


Partnering with pianist Steven Glaser as the Con Fuoco Duo, a collaboration extending 30 years, Walzel has toured as an Artistic Ambassador for the United States Information Agency (Department of State). A proponent of jazz and other culturally influenced music, he has premiered and recorded several new works written for him. He is featured on multiple recording labels including Albany, Navona, Con Fuoco Digital and Mark Records.


Walzel served on the faculty at Texas Tech University and as Principal Clarinetist of the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra for 11 years prior to moving to Kansas. Previous administrative leadership positions include those at Sam Houston State University in Texas and at the University of Utah. A past president of the International Clarinet Association, he has served two full terms as a commissioner on the Commission on Accreditation for the National Association of Schools of Music.


Walzel is a 1977 graduate of Brazoswood High School and remains grateful for the rich and supportive musical culture of the Brazosport community…particularly his foundational music teachers Ernest Clark, Rod Cannon, Herman Gauthier, Fred McDonald and his first music teacher, Iona Walzel.


Purchase your tickets online *OR* call 979-265-7661 or stop by the Box Office during regular business hours (9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Mon.-Fri.).

New Brazoswood H.S. auditorium named after Brazosport Symphony Orchestra conductor Brian Casey

*Release courtesy of Brazosport ISD

The Brazosport ISD Board of Trustees voted unanimously to name the new Brazoswood auditorium in honor of longtime Buccaneer Band Directors Jim Koch and Brian Casey.

Initially, retired band director Brian Casey addressed the Board twice seeking to name the auditorium after his mentor and best friend, longtime Head Band Director at Brazoswood, Mr. Jim Koch. Although the idea was a good one, others thought that there was something missing. Since Mr. Casey original request, BISD has received requests to consider naming the New Brazoswood HS Auditorium after both longtime Brazoswood Band Directors Jim Koch and Brian Casey.

The duo of Jim Koch and Brian Casey has been an undeniable team of musical excellence. Mr. Koch and Mr. Casey, collectively, served the band students harmoniously at Brazoswood High school for more than 60 years, winning numerous awards and accolades. After retirement, Jim Koch served as a BISD Trustee while his close friend, Brian Casey, continued to lead the successful Buccaneer Band program.

“I cannot think of two more deserving recipients of this honor than Jim Koch and Brian Casey,” said Superintendent Danny Massey. “These two built a powerhouse music program that has positively touched the lives of thousands of Brazoswood students.”

Now, this musical partnership did not just happen, No, Jim Koch, or Jimmy as he was known back in the day, started his career at Brazosport High School in 1977 where he was an assistant for four years. He worked with George Mitchell who was like a second dad and great mentor. In 1981, Jim moved across the district to Brazoswood High School and was an assistant for three years. In 1984, at the age of twenty-nine, Jim became the Director of Bands at Brazoswood High School, one of the youngest to serve as a head director at such a young age. Jim went on to hold that position for the next twenty-six years.

And “One of first and best things,” Jim said that he did in his new role was to invite a new Sam Houston State University graduate, Brian Casey, to join the Brazoswood and staff. Thus began a lifelong musical collaboration and dear friendship as they worked side by side to run the Brazoswood Band program. The two brought in numerous talented educators to work with their students. Some stayed for a few years and others are still working in the program. They also brought parents – creating one of the strongest support groups for student musicians around the state. And this legacy continues on.

From Award winning Marching competitions to Symphonic performances, Brazoswood has led the way. The Brazoswood Bands consistently earned UIL sweepstakes, TMEA recognitions and National acclaim for their multifaceted music programs.

In 2010, Jim chose to retire and dedicate his time, as a private citizen, serving as a BISD Board Trustee and as the Board’s President. At this time, Brian Casey took over as the Director of Brazoswood Bands, a position he held until his retirement in 2017.

Together, the Koch & Casey Buccaneer Bands have excelled at every level. They’ve earned 33 UIL Sweepstakes Awards, advanced to the Texas State Marching Contest 17 times. Were the only Texas band to be awarded a UIL State Medal to every performing member at UIL Wind Ensemble Contest! Their bands hold the Region records for the number of Solo and 1st Division medals awarded a band program. Their bands were consistently named Bands of America Marching finalists. Their entire Symphonic Bands were awarded UIL Outstanding Performer Medals at the State Wind Ensemble Contest. And they have had the most students placed in All Region Jazz Bands throughout the years and earned numerous Grand Championships at Jazz Festivals around the state.

The musical union of Jim Koch and Brian Casey has seen the Brazoswood bands earn many awards and accolades. They have won awards together and separately, but through it all, it has always been Koch & Casey. Even in retirement, both men still play a large role in the success of the music programs in the Brazosport area.

To honor the dedication and outstanding leadership of Brazoswood Band Directors Jim Koch and Brian Casey, the BISD Board named the new Brazoswood Auditorium, to be open next fall, the Koch & Casey Auditorium.

Brazosport Symphony Orchestra’s “Playing with Fire!” concert featured in The Facts

Brazosport Symphony Orchestra’s fourth concert of the 2021-2022 season, “Playing with Fire!”, was recently featured in The Facts before the decision was made to postpone it due to facility closures at Brazosport College and The Clarion. The online article has been updated to reflect the new event date.

Hear from BSO conductor Brian Casey and president Paula Matzke about the upcoming concert, including the 2022 Composition Contest winner and the fire-themed music to be featured, such as the Concert Suite from “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”.

Read the article online…THEN get tickets to the concert, slated for Saturday, February 19 at 7:30 PM at The Clarion (across the parking lot from The Center at Brazosport College).

BSO’s upcoming concert to feature world premiere of “Cinderella” from Composition Contest winner

Brazosport Symphony Orchestra will present its fourth concert of the 2021-2022 season on Saturday, February 19 (postponed from Feb. 5) at The Clarion at Brazosport College. “Playing With Fire” will feature popular fire-themed music such as Stravinsky’s Berceuse and Finale from “Firebird Suite”, Mussorgsky’s “Night on Bald Mountain” and the concert suite from “Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire” (Doyle & Williams). In addition, BSO will perform the world premiere of “Cinderella”, Gabriele Cardinali’s winning composition from the 2022 Composition Contest.

Each season, BSO’s Philip Walker organizes and promotes this contest for amateur composers. In addition to receiving a cash prize of $500, the winning composer has the honor of having their piece performed live by BSO. More times than not, BSO’s performance is the world premiere of the winning piece. Walker, who also holds the principal Tuba position with BSO, received 50 submissions this season from composers in 13 different countries. Cardinali’s piece was chosen as the winner this year, and BSO is honored to be the first live orchestra to perform one of his compositions.

Gabriele Cardinali is a self-taught composer born in 1976 in Rome, Italy. Cardinali began composing simple music in middle school, where he also learned to play the clarinet. As classical music scores became more available via the internet and home recording equipment more affordable, he was able to gradually shift his talents to his true love of composing for orchestra. He has always been interested in the sound of objects rather than their shape or color.

Today he feeds his passion by studying famous scores in a constant attempt to improve his technique. Cardinali uses a sequencer to compose and considers it decisive support in improving harmony, solfeggio and orchestration. When he isn’t composing music, Cardinali, a graduate of computer accounting, works as a senior analyst and software programmer for public accounting.

Cardinali’s winning composition, “Cinderella”, was created to accompany the 1922 silhouette animation film “Aschenputtel” (Cinderella), directed by Charlotte “Lotte” Reiniger and produced and photographed by her husband, Carl Koch. Reiniger was a gifted artist and a true pioneer of cinematic animation. Her fascination with Chinese paper cutting techniques, costuming and photography led to her creation of a new genre of silhouette films.

Cardinali composed this piece to feature a variety of atmospheres through a wide spectrum of timbres.  His “Cinderella” is meant to take listeners back to their child-like sense of wonder.

The orchestra will perform “Cinderella” as the film plays overhead on the Clarion’s big screen.  Maestro Brian Casey will use a click track provided by the composer to keep the musicians in sync with the film.  A click track is a recording including audio cues, much like a metronome, that is used to synchronize the music with the moving images on screen.

“Gabriele Cardinali has constructed a brilliant piece of music to accompany the 100-year-old film,” Casey said. “The textures and moods, captivating melodies and dramatic special effects create a remarkable audio/visual experience. The Brazosport Symphony Orchestra is proud to perform the world premiere of Cardinali’s work, ‘Cinderella.’”

Tickets are on sale now online or may be purchased at the door at The Clarion box office.  Ticket prices are $25 for adults, with discounted tickets available for seniors/veterans for $22 and students for $16.

Tickets on sale now for Brazosport Symphony Orchestra’s “Playing with Fire!” concert

Brazosport Symphony Orchestra’s next concert, Playing with Fire!, is slated for Saturday, February 5 at 7:30 PM at The Clarion and tickets are on sale NOW!

This concert will feature the following fiery compositions:

  • Haydn’s Symphony #59 in A Major, “Fire”
  • Stravinsky’s Berceuse and Finale from “Firebird Suite”
  • Beethoven’s Prometheus Overture
  • De Falla’s Ritual Fire Dance
  • Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain
  • and MORE!

Click the button below to purchase your tickets online *OR* call 979-265-7661 or stop by the Box Office during regular business hours (9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Mon.-Fri.).