NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The Symphony Orchestra at Stephen F. Austin State University will perform music by some of America’s greatest composers in the orchestra’s first concert of the fall semester at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

The SFA Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Dr. Gregory Grabowski, director of orchestral activities at SFA, will perform works by Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland and George Gershwin.

Dr. Minhae Lee, assistant professor of piano, will be guest soloist on Gershwin’s Piano Concerto. Grabowski described Gershwin as “one of America’s most famous popular and classical composers.”

“After the wild success of ‘Rhapsody in Blue,’ which Gershwin did not orchestrate himself, he was immediately commissioned by Walter Damrosch for a piano concerto,” Grabowski said. “This time, Gershwin did all the orchestration himself after learning as much as he could about it from whatever textbooks he could find.”

The concert also features Bernstein’s Three Dance Episodes from “On the Town,” which Grabowski describes as “an exciting and fun piece that mixes early jazz and musical theater with the concert hall,” and Copland’s Four Dance Episodes from “Rodeo.”

“While the other two pieces on this program have heavy elements of jazz, and while Copland himself was inspired by early jazz, Copland has managed to take those syncopated rhythms and make it uniquely his own,” Grabowski said. “He also found a way to make it sound completely American as he is able to capture the essence of the American West and put it into music.”

Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. To purchase tickets, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit For additional information, contact the SFA School of Music at (936) 468-4602.

The concert will be rebroadcast at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, on the SFA Symphony Orchestra YouTube channel.