A Brief History of TASO
The idea for TASO was originally conceived in 1965 at the Women’s Association for Symphony Orchestras (WASO) meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Texas delegations from Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio decided it would be beneficial to have such an organization at the state level.
The following eleven leagues & guilds were invited by Mrs. Frank Percy to attend an organizational meeting in Dallas on March 21, 1966 : Abilene, Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Midland, Odessa, San Angelo, San Antonio, Tyler, and Waco. The Conference of the Women’s Committees of Texas Symphony Orchestras was held in Houston on March 13, 1967, with Mrs. Ralph Ellis Gunn presiding. Amarillo and Beaumont were added to the list. At this meeting, Mrs. Henry S. Miller of Dallas was elected the first President of the organization. She presided over the first annual conference of Texas Women’s Association for Symphony Orchestras (TWASO) in El Paso in 1968.
The name of the organization was changed to Texas Association for Symphony Orchestras on May 7, 1984, by its twenty members. Each year, approximately 150 delegates attend the annual conference to gather information and network with their colleagues. These delegates include presidents, presidents-elect, and volunteer leaders from each member organization, as well as symphony orchestra managers and staff.
Past Presidents and Conference Cities
Juanita Miller Concerto Competition
In 1997, TASO initiated a new statewide concerto competition for outstanding high school musicians. The initial underwriting and subsequent funding for the competition was made possible by Juanita and Henry S. Miller. Their dedication, vision, generosity, and devotion to music led to the establishment of the competition, which bears Mrs. Miller's name. The winners receive a cash award, and the grand prize winner receives the opportunity to perform his or her winning concerto with a symphony orchestra.
The competition is a truly professional event, engaging outstanding judges from across the country.