The Sherman Symphony Orchestra kicks off its 54th season this weekend. The season features four unique musical interludes to charm and enlighten those who love music.

Here are five things to know about the SSO this season.

1. Started with a fundraising good time

The season actually started in September with a fundraiser called Brews & Brass on Sept. 28 at 903 Brewery, 1718 S. Elm Street in Sherman.

Live music was provided by Three Rivers Jazz. Heavy hors d’oeuvres were served. There was also beer and wine for sale by 903 Brewery.

2. Not everyone in the SSO has played for a paycheck

Conductor Daniel Dominick said that not everyone in the orchestra is a professional musician.

There are many Austin College and high school students who play with the group. The group also features a number of volunteer players from the area and some faculty and graduate students from the area.

Then, he said, there are those who are professional musicians.

3. Two jolly concerts are the biggest of the year

Christmas Pops, Dominick said, is the SSO’s biggest show of the year with audiences reaching 1,100-1,300 each year.

That is hardly surprising considering Santa even comes along to listen to the music. In addition, attendees can participate in coloring contests and bring along their own snacks.

A Christmas sing-a-long and holiday classics round out the event that is sure to start the festive season off with a bang.

4. A lot of teaching moments

Every year, the SSO’s calendar features a concert aimed at teaching area 5th graders all about music.

Dominick said that tradition of reaching out to the schools had already started when arrived at SSO. However, it was hard getting around to all of the schools. So, they decided to bring the students to the orchestra with a live performance at the SSO’s home of Kidd-Key Auditorium.

Just a couple of years ago, they added a second concert to the calendar and now reach more than 2,000 fifth graders each year with education about a type of music that many might not hear in any other way.

5. Cold fronts and bright sunny days can impact concert attendance

Dominick said bad weather can really cut down on the numbers of people who make it to the auditorium to hear a concert. But, a gorgeous cloudless day can also impact the number of people who attend a concert.

He said the SSO usually reaches around 5,000 people each season. However, seasons like last season where the SSO played in Greenville, Ardmore and provided a free outdoor concert, added to the number of people reached by the thousands.

When were you first introduced to the Sherman Symphony Orchestra? Let Jerrie Whiteley know at