The Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra opens its 38th season Sunday when it joins with the Brazos Valley Chorale, the Brenham Children’s Chorus and three soloists for Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana.

This will be at least the third time the symphony and the chorale have joined for this magnificent work, based on a collection of medieval Latin and German lyrics published in 1847. Those lyrics were based on a 13th-century manuscript discovered in a Benedictine abbey near Munich, Germany. Orff finished his cantata in 1936, and it premiered the following year in Frankfurt, Germany. It likely is the most performed piece of classical music.

Every time the symphony and the chorale join forces — and forces to be reckoned with they are — for Carmina Burana, the audience goes wild and gives the groups lengthy standing ovations. Audiences may be familiar with some of the music that has been used in movies as diverse as The Omen, Glory, The Matrix, Jackass: The Movie and Cheaper by the Dozen.

Sunday’s concert will be at 5 p.m. in Rudder Auditorium.

The 24 movements in Carmina Burana — many of them quite short — range from the dramatic to soulful to saucy to humorous.

Tickets are available at the MSC Box Office on the ground floor of Rudder Auditorium. They also are available online at or by calling 979-845-1234. Tickets are $45 in advance, $16 for students. Prices at the box office will be higher Sunday.

The Brazos Valley Chorale is celebrating its 50th anniversary season of providing great choral music. Don McAvoy is artistic director of the chorale. Jill Stewart is director of the immensely talented Brenham Children’s Chorus, which has performed with the Brazos Valley Symphony on several occasions.

Also performing Sunday will be soloists soprano Heather Phillips and tenor Justin Berkowitz, who are making their first appearance with the symphony, and baritone Kelly Markgraf, a popular frequent performer with the symphony.

Symphony Artistic Director Marcelo Bussiki said, “Every performance is unique — it captures a moment of connection with the audience and performers, but this year’s performance of Carmina Burana is even more special because it marks the 50th year of the Brazos Valley Chorale and its contribution to our cultural landscape. We have performed together many times over the years, but this will have a special meaning to all on stage.”

Ann Thompson will return this season with her special insights into the music of that day’s concert. The public is invited to attend her free lecture at 4 p.m. Sunday in the Rudder Theatre Complex.

Following the concert, patrons are invited to meet with Bussiki and many of the musicians at a social hour at Napa Flats in College Station.

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