Musicians of the Fort Worth Symphony Newsletter
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Please click here to learn about the most recent update in our contract negotiations.
The Musicians of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra have learned that the FWSO management has created a Frequently Asked Questions page about our contract negotiations on the FWSO website. Unfortunately, this page includes many errors and misconceptions. We have compiled a list of facts that address the errors, and you can read it at our website here.
Meet a Musician
Kevin Hall, Principal Bassoon

How old were you when you started playing your instrument? 
I was 11 years old when I signed up for band class and chose the saxophone. My teacher gave me a bassoon before eighth grade because he knew I wanted to play all the instruments. By the time I was 13 I was taking clarinet and flute lessons because I wanted to be a band director. 

Springfield, Illinois

Bachelor and Master of Music from the University of Illinois.

My wife, Karen, who is a cellist in the FWSO, and our large collection of indoor and outdoor feral cats. Spayed and neutered, of course!

In a few words or sentences, how would you describe yourself? 
Always wanting to learn, when I find something I don't know, I immediately want to look it up. 

Fun fact
I'm most at peace when I'm out in the woods.
Did You Know?
Did you know that more than $84 million dollars comes into the Fort Worth economy every year from the arts industry alone?
Patriotic Musings  
By Adrian V. DeCosta, Principal Second Violinist 

From July 2nd to July 4th, the FWSO will be performing our annual Old Fashioned 4th of July Family concerts.  The music is patriotic and chosen to celebrate our nation’s independence…The Star Spangled Banner, America the Beautiful, Stars and Stripes Forever to name a few:  all music that we have heard and sung for years.  These concerts offer us great fun with family and friends and the opportunity to celebrate and sing along with the FWSO. 

Four years ago each of these patriotic songs took on new meaning and depth for me.  You see, one of our sons commissioned as an officer in the United States Marines and we became a military family. Now each time the FWSO plays the National Anthem, I take pride in knowing that my son along with thousands of others have sworn an oath to defend our country and the way of life that we each enjoy. A lump forms in this momma’s throat as we play because our new military family status brings so many emotions; pride, gratitude, fear and worries. A greater appreciation and profound gratitude to all our servicemen, servicewomen and their families has developed in the last 4 years.   

In related news, the FWSO has a newly wed member, violinist Jen Chang.  Jen just married Air Force Captain Derek Betz upon his recent return from deployment. Congratulations Jen and Derek! Jen and I now have a new bond, we belong to a very special and unique club: the U.S. military family.  There is deep pride for all that our guys do but with that pride there is stress and worry that creeps in.  The absence from deployments causes worry and sleepless nights, and the sight of another uniformed serviceman make our hearts skip a beat.  A deeper sense of the sacrifices our heroes make has grown during the last four years and I have seen and felt the hardships on the military families. 

BUT in spite of all this, the patriotic music we perform makes this mother’s heart swell and wraps me in strength and comfort as I await for my deployed son to return home. 

 When you sing along with the FWSO this 4th of July, sing with gusto and pride with a special gratitude to ALL our servicemen and women. 

Happy 4th of July!

Adrian's son’s name, rank and location have been omitted for security reasons.

The fabulous photograph of Jen and Derek was taken by violinist and photographer Brandie Phillips, who is one of our regular extra musicians and Jen's beautiful flower bouquet pictured in the photo was created for her by Adrian! 

Season in Review

Though this season has not been without difficulties, it has certainly been memorable and full of concerts that we are so proud of. Not only did we work with internationally renowned classical artists including Joshua Bell and Midori, we also had the true pleasure of working with Doc Severinsen once again, among many other outstanding artists too numerous to list. Releasing two successful and critically acclaimed CDs in one season has also been a great thrill and we look forward to finishing our Prokofiev Piano Concerto recording project next season with our dear friend and artistic collaborator Vadym Kholodenko.

Illustrating and rewarding the FWSO's rising artistry, recently announced news is that our orchestra has been chosen to participate in the second SHIFT Festival in Washington DC in April 2018. You can read more about this exciting opportunity here.

Partnerships with the Texas Ballet Theater, Fort Worth Opera and Cliburn Foundation, among others, have continued to enrich and vary our artistic lives, and it has been so exciting to see audiences for all our organizations growing and enjoying all the performances as much as we do! 

We have so enjoyed getting to know some of you better through our various outreach opportunities, including our first musician-audience-appreciation picnic last month, and look forward to continuing to make closer relationships with you next season. Thank you to each and every one of you for your support. See you back in Bass Hall next month for our pre-season Classical Festival, featuring some of our own musicians as soloists!

Pictured above, violist Joni Baczewski with Doc Severinsen; two photographs from the FWSO Musicians' Picnic.

Have you gotten your T-shirt yet? These shirts were beautifully designed by our principal violist Laura Bruton. They are $20 each, adult sizes S-3X, and can be purchased online by emailing orders to us at We are also selling yard signs with the same design for $10 each.

T-shirts and yard signs will also be for sale at select venues, so stay tuned to our Facebook page to find out when and where we'll be!

Pictured left are Seth McConnell, timpani, and Keira Fullerton, cello. Right, violist Aleksandra Holowka stands behind a yard sign with her daughter, Ela, and neighbors, violist Dan Sigale and Samson. 
Harmony in the Kitchen 

Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

This salad was one of the many great offerings at our June picnic. Cara Owens (bassoon) and Kathryn Perry (violin) both get rave reviews whenever they fix it for guests.  The recipe originated on and has been modified to taste.

1 1/2 C quinoa
1 1/2 C cooked black beans (or one can, rinsed)
1 1/2 T red wine vinegar
1 1/2 C corn (frozen and thawed; or, fresh from 2 ears of corn and cooked)
3/4 C finely chopped green bell pepper
1/4 C finely chopped fresh cilantro
(optional: 2 pickled jalapeños, seeded and minced, use fresh for more heat )


5 T fresh lime juice
1 t salt
1 1/4 t ground cumin
1/3 C olive oil

Boil 3 cups of water, add 1/4 t salt and 1 1/2 C quinoa.  Reduce heat to low, cook for about 15 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed.  While quinoa is cooking, toss beans with vinegar and salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl.  When quinoa is cooked, transfer to a large bowl to cool.  Add beans, corn, pepper, cilantro (and jalapeño) and toss well.

In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, salt and cumin.  Add the oil, whisking.  Drizzle dressing over salad and toss well with salt and pepper to taste.  Salad may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.  Can be served cold or at room temperature.

Thank you to the many additional musicians who performed with us this month! 
Copyright © 2016 Musicians of the Fort Worth Symphony, All rights reserved.

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