In 1997, TASO's first president, Juanita Miller, had a vision for an exceptional student concerto competition. Now approaching its 22nd year, the Juanita Miller Concerto Competition is considered among the finest in the state, and provides performance opportunities and financial awards to its distinguished finalists.
The TASO Awards of Excellence are awarded to a business, patron, legislator, and volunteer, in recognition for outstanding service, support and promotion of the interests and growth of symphony orchestras. Recognized Project Awards are awarded in the fields of communications & technology, education, fundraising, and leadership & service.
The Amarillo Symphony Guild
Energy. Joy. And Contagious Enthusiasm! These all come to mind when you meet Jacomo Bairos! Jacomo has been described as “expressive and passionate” (Malaysian Times) and these traits were up front and center when he interviewed for the music director/conductor position with the Amarillo Symphony Orchestra over six years ago.
After an extensive two-year search involving more than 200 applicants from around the world, in 2013 Bairos became the 17th Music Director and Conductor for the Amarillo Symphony. He has earned quick praise for his inventive programming, community driven initiatives and commissioning of works by living composers. Jacomo was born in Portugal and raised in Florida where he currently resides. He is a graduate of the Julliard School and is an accomplished and award-winning tubist having performed, toured and recorded with the New York Philharmonic and the symphonies of Chicago, Cincinnati and Seattle. He has given master classes and concerts at major festivals and with orchestras around the world. Bairos was principal tubist for the Singapore Symphony Orchestra when he realized he wanted to study conducting:
“ There was something fascinating about watching that invisible connection between the orchestra and the conductor. Then when I tried it myself, I learned that it was something I really loved.”
Jacomo was older than most conducting students, he made his decision to study when he was 30 years old but his experience on both sides of a concert has served him well. Bairos is in high demand as a guest conductor across the United States and with some of the world’s finest orchestras. He was awarded the prestigious and highly selective Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Scholarship by the US Mendelsshon Foundation. After traveling to Germany to conduct concerts with the Leipzig Symphony Orchestra and assist at the Gewandhaus Orchestra, he furthered his studies with one of his mentors, Maestro Gustav Meier.
Jacomo’s energy is very evident when you see his schedule! Along with his many guest conducting performances, he is music director and conductor for the ASO and cofounder and artistic director for Miami’s Nu Deco Ensemble.
One of Jacomo’s strengths is his ability to develop a meaningful program, not just for the evening but for an entire season.
“For me I look at a program holistically—what is the journey? Where are we going? Why are we going there? You want to go on a journey that takes you from different sounds to different worlds that leaves you n an incredible musical high.”
Bairos uses many different things to take the audience on this journey- he loves to bend genres, this can involve tools of the 21st century such as electronics, extra sounds and collaborations with other arts that don’t normally participate with orchestras such as dance, acrobatics, etc.. He is passionate about the future of living composers. He has commissioned several works by living composers and established the first-ever Composer-in-Residence and the WTAMU Young Composers Initiative, a program that encourages and builds young regional composing talent in the Texas Panhandle.
A Committed educator, Bairos and the Amarillo Symphony have introduced “Class Act”, a program that presents music, lessons and lectures to schools across the Texas Panhandle. Along with regularly coaching and conducting the Amarillo Youth Orchestras, Bairos has shaped orchestral programs and concerts that have enriched the lives of thousands of children.
“One of my all time joys in life is working with kids.. the beauty of their young minds and hearts inspire me beyond anything else I can do.”
Bairos was the Music Director for the National Youth Orchestra Festival in his native Portugal in 2010 and previously worked with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s OrchKids program to create hands on educational workshops for children in underserved urban communities.
Amarillo is very fortunate to have Maestro Jacomo Bairos as our Music Director and Conductor! His journey to the podium has been very impressive and his future looks even more so. This past June he realized a life long dream by conducting the Boston Pops and he continues his amazing programming for the ASO and his development of the genre bending Nu Deco Ensemble! If you are ever in Amarillo during one of the ASO’s performances don’t miss watching one of the countries most dynamic and energetic conductors- you will be truly entertained!
Texas Association for Symphony Orchestras (TASO) is composed of twenty-three member organizations, each of which is a volunteer organization dedicated to the financial support of its own respective orchestra. The organization is guided by a twenty-five member governing board and thirty-three member state board. Additional support for the organization is provided by its twenty-seven affiliates and patrons (non-voting members).
This organization provides a forum for the exchange of ideas designed to promote, develop and support symphony orchestras.