The Grackle

Observations, Reflections and Miscellany from the Wacoan

Q&A with Larry Loh

New conductor for Waco Symphony Orchestra takes the stage

2 months ago

By Emily Ober

What drew you to the Waco Symphony Orchestra?

I knew some of the musicians in the orchestra. I knew that it was a high-quality orchestra. I heard a lot about the Renaissance that’s happening in Waco. After that week [I came down to visit the orchestra], I felt very excited and convinced that this would be an amazing place to be.


This Sunday is your first official performance as conductor. What are you looking forward to the most once you take this position?

I’m excited that I’ll be conducting the orchestra not in an audition. Instead, there is a celebratory feeling about it from every direction — from the orchestra, hopefully the audience and certainly for me. Overall, the feeling will be very different and all about having a great musical and fun experience.


Are there any pieces you’re most excited to perform with the Waco Symphony Orchestra?

We haven’t announced it yet, but next season has a lot of those pieces in it that I picked specifically because I’m excited to perform them with this orchestra. And from the sci-fi world, there’s a lot of stuff that I put on this program — music from both “Star Trek”, “Star Wars”, “Interstellar” and the soundtrack to “Apollo 13”.


Is there a particular piece you’re most excited about for the “Sci-Fi Spectacular” performance?

I’m always excited about the “Star Wars” music but I’m really excited to do “Interstellar” because we’re bringing in the organ which is a very predominant sound in that score. I performed this music without an organ and it’s not quite the same — it’s still recognizable. So, I’m really, really excited that we’ll have that element for the audience to really experience it.


“Star Wars” or “Star Trek”?

I like both and I was first a “Star Wars” fan — pretty crazy fan of the original three — but I’m a big fan of a lot of the “Star Trek” series. “Next generation”, “Voyager”, “Picard”, “Strange New Worlds”, “Lower Decks”. I think that it’s possible to be both.


What’s your favorite place you’ve discovered in Waco so far?

There’s a lot of restaurants that I’ve gone to that I’ve loved, but one really special place that I went to several times during my first week is the coffee shop Bitty & Beau’s. The feeling there so positive and wonderful and great coffee.


We’re encouraging the audience to come in costume if they want as a sci-fi character. I think some of the orchestra will be as well. If they want tickets, it’s hopefully not totally sold out yet, but it’s getting close, so if you still are interested, head over to and pick up tickets.


“Sci-Fi Spectacular: Sun, Moon & Superstars” features music from sci-fi classics including “Star Wars and “Star Trek”. Experience the music on the eve of the total solar eclipse on Sunday, April 7 at 3 p.m. at Waco Hall.