Celebrating Subscriber Appreciation Month

Celebrating Subscriber Appreciation Month

Each November, the Houston Symphony takes time to reflect on all the wonderful support supplied by our Subscriber Family in the form of our annual Subscriber Appreciation Month. Without your loyalty and love for the Symphony, our work would not be possible. We take this month to focus our love for you!

As a gesture of our appreciation, all November-long subscribers enjoy an extra 10% discount on their already reduced single-ticket add-ons for Classical and Bank of America POPS performances. Be sure to check your email for offer details and how to apply your 20% discount on tickets.

This year, we reached out to four of our favorite subscribers to hear how their Symphony journey began, what keeps them coming back, what they’re most looking forward to see, and more!

First up, we have Julie Cowie who recently celebrated six years of concert attendance.

Houston Symphony: Do you remember your first Houston Symphony concert experience? 

Julie Cowie: Yes, most certainly. I was in the process of moving from Romania to the US, spending every two weeks in Houston, and friends took me to see the concert André Watts Plays Rachmaninoff in September 2014. Andrés [Orozco-Estrada] had recently been made music director of the Houston Symphony and I recall my friends’ excitement about the new conductor! It was a fabulous evening and I was hooked, returning each time I was back in town.

HS: What keeps you returning to the Houston Symphony each season?

JC: Over the past six years I have come to appreciate just how amazing the Houston Symphony is, the talent of the musicians and their connection with the conductors. So many composers, so many movements, many I had never listened to before and now love.  At first, I just went to the Classics, then I thought I’d try the POPS with Steven Reineke and wow! I have never been disappointed when I leave Jones Hall. 

HS: What does it mean to you to return to the Symphony after a year in which live music was hard to come by?

JC: Whenever possible I did actually try to attend rather than stream from home.  The Symphony is important part of my life and I felt privileged I could be there to support them in person, especially since they were one of the very few orchestras still performing. I felt safe with all the measures that the Symphony put in place to make attending possible.

HS: What would you tell someone about the Symphony who has never been before?

JC: Go, you will not regret it! There is a genre for everyone, and the Houston Symphony is one of the top orchestras in the world in my view.

HS: What's been your favorite Symphony concert and why?  

JC: Andrés Conducts Beethoven’s Fifth. Seeing Jones Hall full of patrons again, and the return of Andrés to Houston for his final season.

HS: Which Houston Symphony concert are you most looking forward to this season?

JC:  Classical: Andrés Conducts the Carnival of the Animals; POPS: Aretha: Queen of Soul.

Next up, we spoke to husband-and-wife subscribers Rana and Ragini Basu.

HS: Do you remember your first Houston Symphony concert experience?

Rana Basu: Our first concert together at the Houston Symphony was in the fall of 2010 with Hans Graf doing Ravel’s Bolero. We were just getting to know one another inside a relationship and our Houston Symphony provided us, almost every month, with the gentle backdrop to strengthen our bonds to each other. While we had gone there for entertainment, it has surprisingly become the most enduring of our traditions as a couple and later as a family, that started there. It would not be too farfetched to say, that the envelope of the Houston Symphony family, enabled us to experience each other and connect more deeply than we would have otherwise in those early days of our courtship.  

HS: What keeps you returning to the Houston Symphony each season?  

RB: The Houston Symphony has become a family tradition and we subscribe to the Pops season and pick a few classical concerts to round off the year with our friends and family there. However, a few years after we were going by ourselves, we started sending kids from a local shelter or foster families to experience and enjoy our Houston Symphony. To our great delight, the caregivers reported that the experience of visiting the Symphony, had the most profound impact on many of the kids and in fact helped them, in ways not yet fully understood, to deal with their traumas and struggles. We are now most committed to the Houston Symphony not just for our own enjoyment of the fabulous music and entertainment, but to keep alive the social impacts that our Symphony has, both in the promotion of music but also in the mental health issues that we may not know entirely about. It’s a fun family tradition too and our kids love visiting and look forward to going to each show.

HS: What does it mean to you to return to the Symphony after a year in which live music was hard to come by?   

RB: The first few shows with the extreme social distancing were hard last year. We were grateful to be there and to be able to support our Symphony, but even that emotion could not suppress the sense of emptiness and the lack of applause and crowds at the shows. There was a worry about whether the Symphony family would ever be back as a whole and what would survive. To see us running full attendance shows now, that are so full of energy and joie de vivre, is an enormous relief and we are now brining the kids back this season as well.

HS: What would you tell someone about the Symphony who has never been before?  

RB: What are you waiting for!!!! Check it out right away, there is something there for all ages and all walks of life. From our family’s 85-year-olds to our 5-year-olds – everyone has found something to love. Check out the family concerts or the 4th of July performance at Miller outdoor theater with the cannons and fireworks. It’s always a great date night too.

HS: What's been your favorite Symphony concert and why?   

RB: Picking a single favorite is almost impossible. Different shows have resonated with us on different dimensions individually and as a family. Memorable ones include Mahler’s Symphony of a Thousand, the recent Beethoven’s 5th, our first Ravel’s Bolero together. We always enjoy Mike’s [Krajewski] return visits and everything Steven has done with Broadway themes. Just as the shows are so diverse in the vast spectrum of the repertoire presented, what parts we have loved also changed over time. Initially it was getting to know each other on our date nights. Now, watching the excitement of our daughters planning what they will wear to the shows often brings as much joy, as the music and the history shared from the stage.

HS: Which Houston Symphony concert are you most looking forward to this season and why?  

RB: Pink Martini! It’ll be our first concert with the grandparents and kids, so we are excited to have everyone sharing the music together after 20 months

Stay tuned for the second half of this interview, which will be released in the coming weeks. From all of us at the Houston Symphony, both on-stage and back, we thank you for your support and look forward to seeing you at Jones Hall each weekend. Don’t forget, you can access a 20% discount all month-long for can’t miss performances. If you’re not a subscriber yet, it’s never too late to join! Browse our selection of curated packages or Create-your-own today and to begin your Symphony story now.

By Mark Bailes

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