Tucson Symphony Orchestra
Under its first conductor, Tucsonan Camil Van Hulse. The Orchestra played Schubert’s “Rosamunde Overture” and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7. Local papers hailed the debut as a monumental achievement and said the audience greeted the Symphony’s performance with “surprise, admiration and bursts of enthusiasm. ”
Though there were only two concerts the first season, the second offered three concerts and featured a new conductor, Joseph De Luca, who remained with the Symphony for five years. Concerts were held on Sunday evenings at 8:30. The early concert programs were all-orchestral; on March 16, 1930, soprano Mary Margaret Fischer appeared as the orchestra’s first soloist. Midway through the third season, the TSO moved to the Temple of Music and Art, first playing there on January 25, 1931.
1935 was a year of dramatic change. Up to that point, funds were meager and obtained through ticket sales ($5 for a season!) and the fundraising. Even the daily paper observed that “against many odds the symphony came through the year sans debt—but it managed on a starvation diet as to musical library and many other details. ” The Tucson Symphony Society’s board of directors soon agreed, in a controversial decision, to allow the orchestra to come under the aegis of the University of Arizona. The brief and stormy union of the university and orchestra allowed growth through student players, financial aid, scores and instruments. TSO regained its independence at year’s end.