Houston Symphony makes the price right for students


To increase student turnout The Houston Symphony is now offering special student priced tickets all year round. With a simple click the reasonably priced tickets can be easily obtained. | Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Enticing students to classical music performance can be a difficult task, but the Houston Symphony is hoping to overcome students’ hesitation by making an offer that they simply cannot refuse.

“We created this program in an effort to make our concerts more accessible to students,” said 24-year-old Austin Dressman, a marketing and public relations assistant for the Houston Symphony.

“We recognize attending an arts performance is not the cheapest endeavor, but it’s something that is so important for people our age.”

Students are now able to purchase tickets online for $15 up to a week in advance using the promo code STUDENT. This is a change from previous seasons, when student rush tickets were only available half an hour before each performance at the box office.

“Whenever I go to the Houston Symphony, I make sure to purchase student tickets. I cannot recall a time that I paid full price for a ticket since I started college,” said saxophone performance and music education senior Evan Withner.

Students can also purchase a $50 Student Pass, which allows them to attend as many as desired of the season’s six “pops,” or popular music, concerts and 18 classical concerts.

“The Student Pass in particular is an amazing way to experience everything the Houston Symphony has to offer for one affordable price,” Dressman said.

“It’s nearly our entire season for the price of one ticket.”

Tickets acquired with the passes may be picked up at will call less than an hour and a half before the concert begins, but sooner is better — this pass guarantees a ticket for the best available seat in Jones Hall.

The symphony also offers the Young Professionals Backstage program, which allows subscribers to buy ticket packages at discounted rates that include mixers, pre-concert refreshments, after parties, parking privileges and more.

YPB includes networking and volunteer opportunities for its members, including social events with symphony musicians.

“You get to connect to more than just music; you get to connect to staff, musicians, guest artists and other young professionals like yourself who share that experience,” said special events assistant and UH alumnus Tyler Murphy. “The programs are fun and exciting, and the evening get-togethers after are usually themed.”

The symphony as a whole is focused on engaging more of the Houston community.

“One of two goals we are currently pursuing is deeper outreach. Another one is artistic excellence,” said Sasha Potiomkin, clarinetist and bass clarinetist for the symphony.

“Besides playing many free concerts, many of us teach privately and give classes throughout Houston.”

Potiomkin also advocates educational collaboration between music students and the Houston Symphony in a less direct route.

“I think students need to be more proactive about approaching professional musicians,” Potiomkin said.

The Houston Symphony is using marketing campaigns like student ticket packages to appeal not only to future musicians, but also to young adults who will one day become regular patrons of the Symphony.

“(The Houston Symphony’s new marketing campaign) is at least focusing partially on young adults,”  Withner said. “I am very satisfied with the opportunities given to students, as money can be tight more often than not.”

Murphy pointed out the diverse approach to programming that the Houston Symphony’s new music director, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, has taken for the upcoming season.

“We offer a little bit of something for everyone,” Murphy said. “In this sense, we are both preserving the art form, but we also push it and excel it by performing new and contemporary works on major programs, like the premier work by (living composer) Gabriela Lena Frank alongside Beethoven(‘s Symphony No.) 5 (at our opening weekend) in September.”

The Houston Symphony is not just trying to provide chances for up-and-coming musicians to attend its concerts at an affordable price; the HSO is also keeping an eye on its own future.

“Students, young adults and young professionals are the future for organizations like ours, and we recognize that,” Murphy said. “So, we work to cultivate that love and appreciation by creating exciting, innovative groups for people to become a part of and to help shape the Houston Symphony experience now and in seasons to come.”

Visit or call 713-224-7575 to purchase tickets, a student pass, YPB packages and more.

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