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Tyler Texas Performing Arts


Tyler's lifestyle has the characteristics, feel, benefits and safety of a small town, but also has a cosmopolitan atmosphere with the advantages of a variety of fine and performing arts, and cultural activities.

From musicals to symphony orchestra performances, from plays to Broadway shows, Tyler offers top-notch entertainment options.

The R. Don Cowan Fine and Performing Arts Center

The renown R. Don Cowan Fine and Performing Arts Center, located on the campus of the University of Texas at Tyler, presents a variety of Broadway shows, plays and musicals.

David G. and Jacqueline M. Braithwaite Recital Hall at the Unversity of Texas at Tyler
Braithwaite Recital Hall at UT-Tyler (TylerTexasOnline staff photo)

Inside, the Jim and Bonna Bess Vaughn Auditorium seats 2,000 patrons in a warm acoustical environment. A full Broadway-sized stage includes a hydraulically-controlled orchestra pit floor which may be raised for concert use, or lowered for musical theatre productions.

Another facility inside the Cowan is the David G. and Jacqueline M. Braithwaite Recital Hall. It is a lovely chamber music venue and regularly hosts solo recitals and small chamber performances. It seats 161 patrons in three sections, with ample access for those with physical disabilities.

Plans were announced in January of 2015 for the UT Tyler Center for the Musical Arts, south of the existing Cowan Center at a cost of $6.5 million. The new 2-story facility includes a 70-seat band/orchestra practice room and a 72-seat choir practice room. The center also houses teaching studios for individual student and faculty instruction, a music library, faculty offices and instrument storage.

About the Cowan Fine & Performing Arts Center

Cowan Center at the University of Texas - Tyler
Cowan Fine and Performing Arts Center (TylerTexasOnline staff photo)

East Texas Symphony Orchestra

The Tyler Symphony Orchestra began performances in March, 1936, and was renamed the East Texas Symphony Orchestra in 1954 to reflect the broader geographical audience which it serves.

It offers presentation of classical and contemporary music in diverse settings, at the Cowan Center, and at other venues such as the Caldwell Auditorium and outdoor park concerts.

About the East Texas Symphony Orchestra

East Texas Youth Orchestra (ETYO)

ETYO has been serving the East Texas area in various forms since 1955. The mission of the ETYO is to provide exceptional musical experiences in arts education through a diverse set of programs providing performances that enrich its members and the community.

Its ensembles include a symphony orchestra, philharmonic orchestra and Jazz academy. It rehearses primarily in Tyler.

East Texas Youth Orchestra
East Texas Youth Orchestra

Through its various ensembles, ETYO accomplishes this mission by meeting the following objectives:

  • Education
  • Experience
  • Encourgement
  • Excellence
  • Enrichment
  • Enjoyment

An exciting 2020-2021 season planned!  The ETYO conductors, Felix Torres, Sarah Reason, and Sarah Roberts bring thrilling repertoire to their ensembles, and lead weekly rehearsals with enthusiasm and expertise!  In addition to four classical concerts, and Jazz Academy performances, this season will feature the fourth annual ETYO Concerto Competition.

About the East Texas Youth Orchestra

Liberty Hall

Art deco style details inside Liberty Hall
Art deco style details inside Liberty Hall
(TylerTexasOnline staff photo)

The Liberty Theater originally was opened in 1930 as a first-run movie theater on the south side of the Tyler square, and continued in operation for 50 years.

The Liberty is once again home to memory-making events and entertainment after it was converted into Liberty Hall and re-opened in September 2011.

The hall is now the locale for a variety of quality entertainment, ranging from nationally known artists to regional and local entertainers from all genres of music, comedy, theater as well as classic movies. The theater is also available for rental to other organizations that present entertainment as well as for civic and private functions.

About Liberty Hall

Caldwell Auditorium

The Caldwell Auditorium is part of the Caldwell Elementary Arts Academy, and is operated by the Tyler Independent School District (TISD). It is located at 300 South College Avenue near downtown Tyler.

It is the site of a variety of performances and musical events through the year, including concerts sponsored by the Tyler Community Concert Association. It offers theater seating for 1,792 attendees.

About the Caldwell Auditorium

Tyler Civic Theater Center (TCTC)

Braithwaite Theater, Tyler, Texas
Braithwaite Theatre (TylerTexasOnline staff photo)

Tyler Civic Theatre Center (TCTC) evolved from Tyler Little Theatre, formed in 1927. Through the tireless efforts of volunteers and the generosity of foundations and the public, TCTC's new home was christened in September 2000.

The original stage was renovated and rebuilt to house Rogers Children's Theatre. Student-actors are educated in all aspects of play production in classes designed for preschoolers through adults. The new Braithwaite Theatre at TCTC seats 350, almost twice the seating capacity of the original facility. The entire complex is called Tyler Civic Theatre Center.

It provides live thrillers & comedies for adults and classics good for the whole family. The center also offers summer drama camps, workshops, and classes for students age 4 through adult. The facility can also be rented.

TCTC is located at 400 Rose Park Drive near the Tyler Rose Garden and across from the Harvey Convention Center.

About the Tyler Civic Theatre Center

Tyler Civic Chorale

An integral part of the Tyler’s musical landscape for over five decades, the Tyler Civic Chorale aims to present a wide variety of choral music through high quality performances for the enjoyment and education of East Texas audiences.

Over the course of its history, the Chorale has sung requiems by Brahms, Mozart, Duruflé, and Faure, as well as Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Creation, and dozens of other masses, motets, cantatas, and oratorios.

Each year the Tyler Civic Chorale presents four to five concerts, as well as various guest appearances in the community.

About the Tyler Civic Chorale

And Nearby in Longview ...

Longview Ballet Theatre

Over the years Company members of Longview Ballet Theatre and students of the Studio of Creative Arts have had the opportunity to dance original ballets choreographed and designed by Pat George Mitchell as well as great classics like Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, Cinderella and Nutcracker

About the Longview Ballet Theatre

Belcher Center

Belcher Center, Longview, Texas
Belcher Center, Longview, Texas

The S.E. Belcher Jr. Chapel and Performance Center is the premier performance center for the city of Longview, Texas, and surrounding communities.

With world-class acoustics and staging, the center attracts shows that Longview residents would not be able to see without traveling many miles.

The Belcher Center is the performance home of the East Texas Symphonic Band, the Longview Ballet Theatre and the Longview Symphony. Many area groups rent the facility for other events such as fund-raisers, high school graduations, dance recitals, conferences, etc. In addition, the Center presents its own season of events, comprising national touring acts.

About the Belcher Center

Longview Symphony Orchestra

Since 1968, the Longview Symphony has provided live orchestral performances of classical music to audiences in Longview and surrounding East Texas communities.

Longview Symphony Orchestra
The Longview Symphony Orchestra

Starting as an amateur group with a few conservatory-trained musicians volunteering their time, today the orchestra is composed entirely of professional musicians from Longview, the greater East Texas area, Shreveport and the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Fourteen members are on staff at area universities and colleges, others are music educators in primary and secondary schools and many teach lessons privately. 

The Longview Symphony takes pride in sponsoring the Longview Area Youth Symphony Orchestra (LAYSO) and the Longview Area Preparatory Strings (LAPS) for school-age children.

You can also reach the Symphony at P.O. Box 1825, Longview, TX75707. Phone 903.236.9739

About the Longview Symphony Orchestra

More Performing Arts Resources


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