Thomas Rainey conducting Williamson County Symphony Orchestra

Wilco orchestra provides free community concerts

In 2002, Dr. Thomas Rainey realized that the area lacked a community orchestra. Adults longed to dust off their old high school and college instruments; but unless they were professionals, few had the opportunity to play again. With the help of Dr. Rainey—better known as “Doc”—and the founding board, the Williamson County Symphony Orchestra (WSCO) was born.

Since its first concert, the orchestra has grown from about 30 members to more than 90. It’s upholding its joint goals of encouraging musicians to reawaken their passion for musical performance while sharing the symphony with Williamson County’s diverse community. Georgetown View sat down with Director Rainey to get the scoop on what the WSCO has in store for us this year.

What’s it like to attend one of your concerts?

From the beginning, we decided that we want to provide free public concerts. Part of our mission is to get people who normally do not attend concerts because they think of them as boring to come to our concerts, enjoy the music, and . . . return [to hear more]. Our music is like the Boston Pops’. During the performances, we’ll incorporate widely recognizable pieces, audience participation, and musical contests.

Recognizable pieces?

Last year, we played an entire John Williams concert. We played ET, Battle of the Heroes, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Superman. . . . And people loved it.

What will you perform this year?

Each of our concerts has a theme. This year, our October theme is “Anything Goes”; in December it’s “Christmas Is Forever”; in March, it’s “March Madness”; and our outdoor concert in May is “Out of This World,” where we’ll play selections from Battlestar Galactica and Star Wars.

Are your concerts inside or outdoors?

Most of them are indoors, but in May we’ll play two outdoor concerts. Our outdoor concerts are geared toward families, children, and grandparents [who may] bring their dogs, blankets, and picnics.

How many people typically attend your concerts?

These days, our smallest audience is about 1,500, but we’ve had as many as 2,500 people in attendance.

How many concerts do you put on each year?

We put on nine concerts each year so that we can perform in different parts of Williamson County and reach as many people as possible. Then, in December, we’ll put on a third Christmas concert in Fort Hood for the soldiers and their families. It’s one of our favorite concerts—we get chills when we see the soldiers come in.


For more information on the Williamson County Symphony Orchestra, including their performance calendar and audition information, visit www.wilcosymphony.org.

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