Written by Spartanburg Philharmonic Music Director - Stefan Sanders
When I am on the road (as I am presently) and think of Spartanburg, an affirming sense of belonging and goodness fills my spirit. It has only been a couple of months since we’ve lived here, but it already feels like home.
Hi! My name is Stefan Sanders and I am the new Music Director/Conductor of the Spartanburg Philharmonic. I am also the Music Director of the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra in North Carolina and the Music Director for the Round Rock Symphony in Central Texas. Additionally, I work with other orchestras as a guest conductor throughout the year (check it all out at www.stefansanders.net) making my life full of travel (that I really enjoy) but when it’s time to come home, I look forward to my time in Spartanburg.
My wife and I live near the Cotton Wood Trail and absolutely love getting outside and exploring our new community. Spartanburg is such a naturally beautiful city. We also have a favorite restaurant nearby, the Guacamole Mexican Grill! We are originally from Austin, TX and both have incurable addictions to good Mexican food.
When we first came to Spartanburg, we were struck by the community’s sense of itself. There is a humble pride here that is very attractive. The present day’s excitement over all of the new developments beautifully compliments a significant historic legacy, important in the story of America. There is a lot to be proud of here. But what we love most about Spartanburg is how people treat one another, with kindness and enthusiasm.
Speaking of enthusiasm - !! - last month the Spartanburg Philharmonic began its 90th Anniversary Season with a successful opening concert at beautiful Twichell Auditorium! The repertoire was sensational, highlighting the music of early 20th Century American composer and songwriter George Gershwin and his French contemporary, Maurice Ravel. Two of the pieces on the program celebrate their 90th anniversaries this year as well; Gershwin’s An American in Paris and Ravel’s Bolero. These two masterpieces served as the inspiration for the entire program that also included Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue performed by world-renowned South African pianist, Anton Nel, and one of my very favorite pieces of French orchestral music, Ravel’s La Valse. From on stage, it seemed as though the audience enjoyed themselves as much as the performers did! The first outing with my new orchestra in my new home could not have gone any better. I am so proud to be a member of this community and genuinely look forward to a bright future here in Spartanburg. See you at the next show!