IRVING SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
To provide artistically satisfying musical and educational programs for the people of Irving and the surrounding region; creating a climate in which the Irving Symphony Orchestra will flourish in a fiscally sound manner.
The Irving Symphony Orchestra (ISO) began as most community orchestras have, with a small group of musicians who formed the Irving String Ensemble from at that time, the University of Dallas. In 1961, the ISO Association was formed, and the first official concert was presented at Irving High School on December 10, 1962 with 23 volunteer musicians.
By 1963 the orchestra became the significant music group in Irving. The first Irving Symphony benefit ball was held in 1967 and was an annual major event for several years. The ISO performed in England with the Wimbledon Symphony Orchestra as part of a cultural exchange with Irving’s Sister City, Merton--a section of London. In 1988 the orchestra moved from being a community orchestra to a full-fledged professional symphony association, with all paid musicians with degrees from top music schools and conservatories.
Maestro Hector Guzman became the Music Director/Conductor of the ISO in 1991 further elevating the Symphony’s status among regional symphonic organizations. Maestro Guzman holds degrees from the Conservatory of Music in Mexico City, Southern Methodist University and University of North Texas and has studied with many illustrious conductors. Maestro Guzman has guest conducted in the United States, Mexico, Japan, Italy, Dominican Republic, Korea, China, Vietnam, Poland and Spain. Currently, under his music direction, the ISO has six (6) concerts in its subscription season, two multi-media free youth concerts for middle school aged children of Irving and surrounding communities.
Annually, several performance requests for the ISO musicians come through our Healing Notes Programs as a no-cost community outreach for the civic and social events planned for residents and patients in surrounding neighborhoods. The ISO is quite generous in donating tickets for their season concerts so that other charities and non-profits can succeed in their fundrasing efforts. Partnerships within the community have also been forged to provide musical performances at corporate events and holiday specials for various buisness organizations.
The Irving Symphony League organized in 1970 to provide support services to the ISO. The League organized and fostered the Symphony Belles which later evolved into the Ovation Program for volunteer service to the Orchestra by community members and high school students assisting with hosting duties and ticket handling at performances. The League also sponsors scholarship awards for seniors in high school who are planning to continue their post high school graduation education in a musical field of study.
Hector Guzman is music director/conductor of the Irving, Plano, Corpus Christi and San Angelo Symphony Orchestras in the USA. He is also “Conductor Emeritus” of the Jalisco Philharmonic in Mexico. In addition, he has appeared as a celebrated guest conductor of other notable orchestras in Mexico, the United States, Central and South America, Europe and the Asian region. He has also achieved an impressive reputation as an organist by winning top prizes in several national and international competitions, including the “Grand Prix de Chartres,” the world’s most prestigious organ competition. He is a graduate of the National Conservatory of Mexico City, the University of North Texas and Southern Methodist University. His teachers include luminaries such as Victor Urban, Alfred Mouledous, Robert Anderson, Carlo Maria Giulini, Helmuth Rilling, his mentor Maestro Anshel Brusilow, and the late Maestro Eduardo Mata.
Maestro Guzman was accorded the “Meadows” Award, DeVry University’s “Director per Excellence” Award and the “Good Citizenship Medal” in the United States, as well as Mexico’s “Outstanding National Young Artist” Award, the “Golden Lyre” Award, the “Artistic Silver Medal” and the “Mozart Medal, “Mexico’s highest musical honor, awarded by the embassy of Austria in Mexico City.
He is the recipient of the 2012 “Man of the Year” Award by New York based Madison’s Who’s Who, the 2012 North Texas Chapter of “For the Love of Art” Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2014 “Distinguished Member Award” by the international musical fraternity “Sigma Alpha Iota” in the United States. In 2000, he was included in the “Outstanding Musicians of the XX century” magazine, published by the International Biographical Centre in Cambridge, England. The Maestro received the 2017 Diversity Award for Arts and Culture from the Greater Dallas Asian American Chamber of Commerce (GDAACC).