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Stefan Sanders to kick off the SPO’s 2017-2018 season [PRESS RELEASE]

SPARTANBURG, SC (August 31, 2017) — Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra begins its 2017-2018 season with the launch of Project Maestro: the search for the SPO’s new conductor. The season opener will be held on Saturday, September 16 at Twichell Auditorium from 7:00pm to 9:00pm and conducted by the first of three finalists, Stefan Sanders. Tickets start at $26 each and can be purchased online at, by telephone (864.278.9671) or in person at Twichell’s box office. Youth and Teacher pricing is also available.

“Classical Conversations,” a pre-concert chat, will begin at 6:15pm and will be co-hosted by Jamarcus Gaston from WSPA and Dr. Chris Vaneman, Director of the Petrie School of Music at Converse College.

Sanders’ program will open with Mozart’s Symphony no. 39, followed by Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme with guest soloist and South Carolina native, Claire Bryant. The evening will conclude with Beethoven’s Symphony no. 5, arguably one of the most famous symphonies ever written.

“I am immensely honored to be a finalist for music director of the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra. The SPO attracted me because the organization is 100% committed to strengthening Spartanburg’s identity through experiences that bring people together in meaningful ways” he says.

Stefan was introduced to concerts by his father. He began his musical career by learning the violin and later became an internationally renowned trombonist. Mesmerized by the relationship between the conductor and the orchestra, his love for music eventually led him to the baton.

In looking forward to the concert, Bryant says, “I couldn’t be more excited to return to my home state of South Carolina to perform with the outstanding musicians of the SPO under the baton of Stefan Sanders – a fellow alumnus of The Juilliard School! Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations is one of the beloved pieces of the cello concerto repertoire, succinctly featuring many of the virtues and characters of the cello – elegance, lyricism, and virtuosity. I look forward to returning home to share a wonderful musical experience with the Spartanburg community!”

For the past 22 months, the SPO has conducted a worldwide search for its next Musical Director and conductor. Executive Director, Kathryn Boucher says, “I am thrilled for what each of our finalists will bring to our season. I think Stefan brings a unique perspective to our orchestra, coming from such an experienced background in leading orchestras around the country.

This season, the SPO is inviting Spartanburg to be a part of the search process by voting via website and at the concerts. Get your tickets today and be a part of this historical moment in Spartanburg.

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