News and Events

Abilene Philharmonic Guild Presents Alice through the Looking Glass

Join the Abilene Philharmonic Guild on Leap Day, February 29, 2020, for the 60th Annual Guild Ball. We will leap into the Alice Through the Looking Glass Gold Medallion Ball.

Sponsorship Opportunities and Single Tickets

Our Grand Dame Dana Endsley and her husband Ferral Endsley, the Noble Gold, will be honored for their decades of unwavering service to the Guild, the Philharmonic Association, the medical community and youth organizations in Abilene. Joni and Bill Wood, honorary Ball Chairs, are honoring the Endsleys by reprising the very successful Ball theme created by Joni and Dana as chairs of the 2000 ball, Alice In Wonderland. Rounding out this year’s honorees will be Donna Thorne, recipient of the Golden Charm, an award honoring continued outstanding service by a Guild member through the years.

The day begins with the Mad Hatter Brunch which will highlight the accomplishments of the Senior Belles and Beaus and spotlight the Golden Charm, Donna Thorne. Then, be prepared for a fairytale evening, beginning with the elegant Major Donors Reception, recognition of the Golden Charm, formal presentation of the Grand Dame and Noble Gold followed by presentation of the Senior Belles and Beaus, a delectable dinner and an evening of dancing.

It is through the generous support of donors like you that the Guild is able to accomplish our mission to support and promote the interest and growth of the Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra. Programs of the Philharmonic Association we annually support include the orchestra, educational opportunities for youth and adults, the Abilene Youth Orchestra, the Discover Music Children’s Concert Series for Big Country students and quality entertainment for all ages. Your sponsorship of the Gold Medallion Events will help guarantee another season of fine orchestral music for our community.

Please review the enclosed tax-deductible Sponsorship Opportunities and pledge your support today. We hope to hear from you before the rush of the holiday begins.

On behalf of the Abilene Philharmonic Guild, thank you for your continued support. Please join us, along with the Endsleys, the Woods, and the Thornes in our effort to make this year’s Gold Medallion Ball a great success for our orchestra.

Grande Dame and Noble Gold

Dana and Ferral Endsley

Honorary Ball Chairmen

Joni and Bill Wood

Golden Charm

Donna Thorne

Ball Chairwoman

Jamie Miers

Senior Belles

Kaylee Beard
Maddie Cole
Analeah Elias
Mary Ellis Ferguson
Morgan Morris
Laurel Sanders
Jessica Touchstone

Featuring a Performance by Violin Virtuoso

William Hagen

Abilene Philharmonic’s First “Illuminate” Concert

Abilene Philharmonic’s first ever "Illuminate" concert will be incorporated within The Emperor Concerto concert on Saturday, January 25th .


What is an “Illuminate” concert: Should they choose to, audience members will have an opportunity to receive live program notes and information about the composers and their pieces in real time during the performance. You will be able to follow along, learn about the pieces, and enjoy live music all at the same time!

How Does It Work: You will be given instructions on how to download the Nearpod app and an access code to enter. An announcement will be made to “Please pull out your cell phone or iPad” during the piece. The slides have been created and developed by Music Director, David Itkin and Abigail Payne, Education and Outreach Coordinator.

Does This Cost Extra: No, not at all! This is an experience that we will offer our patrons as an added benefit.

Will this bother patrons who do not wish to participate: For patrons who are concerned about being distracted by screen lights, don't worry! We will have everyone who chooses to participate in one particular section of the lower balcony.

What If I Have Purchased My Ticket Already: If you have already purchased your tickets to The Emperor Concerto and wish to sit in the “Illuminate” section, please just call our office and we will get you the correct seats. Our number is (325) 677-6710, we will be glad to assist you with this.

Our hope is to draw audience members who may feel like classical music is somehow out of their grasp, understanding, or realm of comfort. We want to make it accessible because classical music and the Abilene Philharmonic is for everyone!

Do you have more questions? Feel free to call us and we can further explain.

Abilene Philharmonic’s Mini Season Subscription

Just in time to give the perfect Christmas gift, our mini season subscriptions are now available!


Mini season subscriptions are a great way to enjoy your Philharmonic all while saving 10% off single ticket prices. Mini Season Subscriptions include 4 concerts, 2 pops and 2 masterworks concerts. If purchased before December 7th, the date of the Christmas Pops Concert, you will have the option to pick 4 out of the 5 remaining concerts of the season.

Not only will you be receiving tickets to extraordinary music in Abilene, but your purchase will go further to make a positive impact on our community. Every $2 raised in new mini season subscriptions will be matched by $3 from the Dian Graves Owen Foundation. Additionally, these same mini subscriptions will be matched $1 for $1 with a contribution to the Abilene Philharmonic Foundation from an anonymous donor (up to $50,000). These additional funds are important to help continue the mission of the Abilene Philharmonic but will also help continue the many education and outreach programs such as our Abilene Youth Orchestra, Discover Music Children Concert Series, instrument petting zoos and much more.

Purchase Subscription

Discover Music Children’s Concert Series-SOLD OUT!

We are so excited to say that our Discovery Music Series this year was SOLD OUT!!!


The Discover Music concerts series began the week of October 21st and lasted over the course of two days. This year we saw over 6,600 3rd-5th grade students that represent 28 schools. The Discover Music Children’s Concert Series has been an integral part of the Abilene Philharmonic mission since 1955. It provides TEKS classroom curriculum for region 14 music teachers and a six to eight week active learning experience for third through fifth graders that ends in a live orchestra concert. For many of these students, it is their first time experiencing a live symphony orchestra performance.

This year's theme "Texas Cowboys at the Philharmonic" focused on the melodies that shaped the Wild West. The performance featured The Cowboys Overture by John Williams, "On the Trail" from the Grand Canyon Suite by Grofe, and Aaron Copeland's Rodeo Suite. Something new to this year's concert is that the Rodeo Suite was accompanied by photos of rodeo scenes that were choreographed to music. These photos were projected on a large 40' x 10' screen over the orchestra provided for free by Westerwater Arts.

The Discover Music Concerts don’t just happen overnight. It takes several months of preparation between Abilene Philharmonic staff and Abilene ISD to develop a curriculum guide for teachers to use with their students in the classroom to help prepare them for the culmination of these concerts. The concert provides these students with a real-life connection to the lessons they have been studying all semester long. As a music educator himself, Maestro Itkin does a tremendous job hosting the concert and making the students feel welcome at the Convention Center.

The Discover Music Children's Concert Series sparks inspiration and an interest in classical music. It helps lay a foundation for lifelong learning and the enjoyment of music. It begins developing an appreciation for the arts and culture when students are at a critical age of influence. For some schools located in more rural communities, there is not a designated music teacher and this program serves as their only resource to providing a high-quality music education program.

Thank you, this year’s sponsors,: AEP, AISD, HEB, and our Annual Fund Donors that continue to make this program possible and ensuring that we provide high quality music education programs for students in the Big Country. If you want to learn more about being a sponsor for the Discover Music Children’s Concert, please contact us at (325) 677-6710 or visit our website at

Storybook Saturday with Amit Peled

You may have heard of our first guest artist being a world-renowned cellist, but did you know he is also a children’s book author.


“A Cello Named Pablo”, written by Amit Peled is the story of a Amit Peled and his journey with the cello and legacy of the great Pablo Casals. Amit Peled will be performing a reading of his book on Saturday, September 28 th at 12:00 p.m., following his reading will be a book signing.

Also, get a chance to take a sneak peek into what an Abilene Philharmonic rehearsal looks like and quietly watch as the Philharmonic rehearses Masterworks I: The Heavenly Life from 10-12 p.m. at the Abilene Convention Center.

Tickets are $10 for a family and registration is required to attend Storybook Saturday. To register visit at

Masterclass with Amit Peled, cello

Join us for our first Masterclass of the 2019-2020 Season on Friday, September 27 th at 4:00 p.m.


This is a once in lifetime opportunity to learn from world-renowned cellist, Amit Peled! Masterclass topics can include instrument specific instruction, how to practice, how to win an audition, what it means to be an arts administrator, and many other things related to the orchestra field. This unique opportunity allows for students participating to engage with the artist, ask questions and learn best practices.

Students, musicians and anyone interested in participating in our Masterclass, please contact (325) 677-6710. This event is FREE and open to the public. The Masterclass will be held at the Abilene Philharmonic office located at 1102 North 3 rd St. Suite C.

Amit Peled Performing Journey With My Jewishness

This season opens up with a special recital presented by Abilene Christian University featuring renowned cellist Amit Peled, performing Journey With My Jewishness.


This powerful and compelling program follows Amit Peled's personal, musical, and spiritual journey. From his childhood growing up in a small kibbutz in Israel and listening to his mother singing the traditional tune "Eli Eli," to playing Max Bruch's "Kol Nidrei" as a young cellist and personally connecting with the Yom Kippur message, Amit explores the ups and downs of life and the desire to balance tradition, identity, and self-expression. Among other works, the program features Mark Kopytman's heart-wrenching "Kaddish" and Ernest Bloch's beloved three scenes "From Jewish Life." Amit's effective personal narrative in conjunction with a selection of deeply moving works and a passionate performance provokes a personal spiritual journey for each member of the audience. You won't leave the concert hall as the same person you were when you walked in.

Join us for an intimate pre-concert Meet and Greet with Amit Peled. Enjoy visiting with the guest artist, David Itkin, Music Director for the Philharmonic and other guests while enjoying hors d’oeuvres and refreshments. Tickets for the Meet and Greet including performance are $35. General Admission recital tickets: $15.

Tickets can be purchased online here

Journey With My Jewishness Presented by: Abilene Christian University
featuring Amit Peled, cello
Thursday, September 26, 2019 at 7:30PM
Williams Performing Arts Center Recital Hall
ACU Dr, Abilene, TX 79601

Instrument Petting Zoo

The CALF Festival 2019 was a huge success, and the Philharmonic of Abilene is grateful to have participated by providing the instrument petting zoo.


During the 2019 Calf Festival, we had over 2,500 kids that were able to learn more about music and take part in exploring new instruments that they don’t have the chance to learn about on a normal day. 

We hosted the Instrument Petting Zoo at our new Philharmonic offices downtown and enjoyed hosting people in this space. Giving children the chance to try out various string and brass instruments is a passion of ours at the Philharmonic and the CALF Festival in Abilene is just another great avenue to provide these opportunities to our community.

The Abilene Philharmonic is grateful to have provided the Instrument Petting Zoo this year, and we look forward to the years to come partnering with the CALF Festival!

Baby Music of Abilene

The Abilene Philharmonic has enjoyed partnering with Suzuki Early Education to provide Abilene’s first Baby Music of Abilene class!


On Tuesday evenings at 5:30, we host babies, toddlers and their parents to experience and enjoy music together from the youngest of ages. The Abilene Philharmonic has enjoyed partnering with Suzuki Early Education to provide Abilene’s first Baby Music of Abilene class! On Tuesday evenings at 5:30, we host babies, toddlers and their parents to experience and enjoy music together from the youngest of ages. We are passionate about music education for all ages at the Abilene Philharmonic, and this includes the youngest and oldest members of our community.

Baby Music of Abilene provides an opportunity for families to come and play a variety of percussion instruments. Suzuki Early Education provides a certified instructor to guide the class using nursery rhymes, dance, and action songs to teach the basic musical skills such as pitch matching and rhythm recognition. We believe strongly in the proven developmental skills that come from young children being exposed to music at an early age and want to provide opportunities such as this for our community and the Big Country. 

We are thrilled with the first class of Baby Music of Abilene and can’t wait to see how it will continue to grow and mold our young children in Abilene!

Thank You to Our Supporters