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Celebrating 50 Years

Celebrating 50 YearsFriday, February 8, 2019

Mickey Melton Performing Arts Center
Longview High School

Opening Notes: 6:30
Doors open for season ticket holders: 6:55
Doors open for general admission: 7:10
Concert: 7:30

We’re going back to Longview High School, where the symphony began fifty years ago on February 8, 1969! Music will include favorites from the last 50 years with special guests and surprises. Our first conductor, James Snowden, will be back to conduct this concert! We will have a special recognition for those who have played and served with the symphony, and Dr. Snowden will be inducted into the Hall of Fame!


Details About the Concert:

If you have purchased your ticket online, please print out your receipt and bring it with you. This will be your ticket to the concert, and you can go right in without waiting in line!

  • Parking Map (PDF)—there will be signs
  • General Parking—enter from Hawkins
  • Accessible Parking—enter from the Loop

There will be an accessible entrance on the south side of Mickey Melton. If someone in your group has special needs, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so we can make your experience as easy as possible.

Questions? Please call the Symphony office at 903-236-9739.


James SnowdenConductor: James Snowden

Dr. Snowden received his bachelor's and master's degrees from SFASU in 1965 and 1968 and his Ph.D. in music from the University of Colorado in 1975. He studied conducting with Elizabeth Green, Richard Burgin and Franco Autori (both assistant conductors of Toscanini), and Anshel Brusilow. His advanced conducting study was with Fritz Reiner of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He has conducted the Symphonies of Dallas, Houston, Jacksonville, Fla. and the Houston All-City Symphony, and was founder and conductor for 10 years of the Longview Symphony Orchestra.

He served for 10 years as music director of the Longview Community Theatre and coordinator of orchestras of the Longview Public Schools, established the Longview High School Orchestra and subsequently took it on a 10-day European tour, founded the Lubbock All-City Orchestra and originated the “Music and Architecture” series as conductor of the University of Tulsa Orchestra. Also at Tulsa, he established the first music literature courses and served as supervisor of student teachers in the public schools. His band at Judson Jr. High received the Texas Honor Band, Class CC Award, the first East Texas band in history to achieve this. As music director of the Longview Community Theatre, he conducted “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Camelot,” “The Sound of Music,” “My Fair Lady,” “South Pacific,” “Annie, Get Your Gun,” “Brigadoon,” and “Carousel,” among others.

Dr. Snowden founded the Longview Symphony Orchestra and conducted it for ten years, growing it from a group of local musicians to full symphonic status, including collaboration with area and nationally recognized guest artists; the initiation of the LSO Concerto Competition; joint performances with the Kilgore College Chorale, the Longview Civic Chorale, and the Longview Ballet Theatre; and fully staged productions of “Peter and the Wolf” with the Longview Junior League.

He also founded and served as director of the Torchlight Music and Ski Festival in Crested Butte, Colorado for ten years—a competition for high school bands, orchestra and choirs. In 1999 he founded the Tyler Homeschool Band at the request of a large group of parents, and served as board member of Opera Longview.

After retiring as director of bands for 10 years at Pine Tree ISD, where he won numerous Sweepstakes Awards and placed a school record for the number of students winning regional, area and All-State honors, he served as music prof. with the U.T. Tyler and East Texas Baptist University. He also served as music director of the Artsview Childrens’ Theatre.

Snowden founded the East Texas Symphonic Band in 1988 (now in its 31st season) and has been its only conductor. Honors include “Texas Leadership and Achievement Award” from TMEA, “International Men of Achievement,” “International Who’s Who in Music,” “Who’s Who in Texas Education,” “Personalities of the South,” and “Who’s Who in America,” among others. He has done over 50 arrangements for wind band and various brass ensembles. In 2014, he was honored as Distinguished Alumni, SFASU School of Music. Awarded the Sudler Silver Scroll for Outstanding Community Band in North America. 2015 Phi Beta Mu—Texas Bandmaster Hall of Fame.

As an avid scuba diver—holding the certification of PADI Divemaster, he pursues hobbies of big game hunting (published an article on the Swedish Mauser rifle), skiing, mountain hiking, world travel, and canine obedience training. Most recently, he served as President of the Judson High School Alumni.

Ticket Prices (General Admission)

Adults: $20
Students: $10
Children (0-12): $5

Many thanks to this season's sponsors:

Gold Sponsors

  • Ben Maines Air Conditioning, Inc.
  • Casa Flora
  • Christus Good Shepherd Medical Center
  • Citizens National Bank
  • Longview Regional Medical Center
  • Suzanne Cook & Company
  • Texas Bank and Trust
  • 3D Security
  • U.S. Title Company, Inc.
  • Welch Funeral Home
  • KLTV
  • Westlake Chemical
  • Heartis Seniors Living

Silver Sponsors

  • Arabella of Longview
  • LeTourneau University Belcher Center
  • Phillips Flooring Center
  • Oak Creek
  • Lost Creek Business Park
  • Special Health Resources For Texas, Inc.
  • Buckner Westminster Place
  • Master Travel
  • Dennis-Wade Associates, Inc.
  • Cooks Lighting - Flooring - Deco
  • SIG Insurance Services
  • Henderson Federal Savings Bank
  • Full Armor Christian Academy

Bronze Sponsors


Tell Us Your Story

Do you have a story or memory to share about the Longview Symphony as we celebrate our 50th anniversary? Please submit your comments here.