Although symphonic concerts could be heard in San Antonio all the way back in the 1880s, the formation of the San Antonio Symphony?the city's first formal orchestra?didn't happen until 1939. It was then that Max Reiter, a native of Italy, was forced from his career and home by a freshly established anti-Semitic policy. Reiter boarded a ship for New York, found the city teeming with exiled musicians like himself, and therefore purchased a train ticket to the South. There, San Antonio's leaders invited Reiter to conduct a demonstration concert for a crowd of 2,500. The success of that initial impression led to the formal founding of the Symphony and an inaugural concert just five months later. Today, Sebastian Lang-Lessing stands where Reiter once stood, leading a full ensemble of 75 musicians with a baton hand honed across the globe.
The San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo bustles with a variety of vendors, bovine-inspired showcases, and activities for the whole family. Legally eavesdrop on live music, which wafts from five separate areas on the spacious grounds, or draw the fashionable wedge between man and livestock by accessorizing at the three shopping areas and the Texas Experience Pavilion, which comes stuffed with shopping, free samples, and exhibits on beekeeping, winemaking, and dairy farming. Meanwhile, the Family Fair lassos tykes with a petting zoo, pig races, and pony rides. The all-day event runs from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. or midnight (depending on weather conditions), though some exhibit hours may vary. Proceeds from the event go toward the community and raising scholarship and grant money to support agriculturally inclined Texan youth.
Winner of the San Antonio Current readers' poll for Best Local Theater Company of 2011, The Overtime Theater produces innovative original plays and musicals as well as spirited adaptations of old classics. Like the birth of a Qinling panda, each Overtime production has never been seen before onstage, nourishing theatergoers with the freshly crafted stage fare of passionate playwrights. Use today’s deal to treat a friend or special dog groomer to the poignant political comedy of Ugly People (August 19–September 17), the existential drama of Life, or a Reasonable Approximation Thereof (July 8–August 6), or the smooth jazz and blues of DOA: A Noir Musical (September 30–October 29), a creative adaptation of the 1950 film classic.
When he's not gigging at renowned venues such as CBGB or the Bowery Ballroom, Pancho Garza preps others to do the same at Alamo Rock School. Likewise, Pancho's fellow instructors channel years of teaching and performing experience to help students aged 8–17 improve their guitar, bass-guitar, drums, piano, or singing skills.
Weekly one-on-one lessons are the bedrock of Alamo's rock club, whose weekend jam sessions give students the opportunity to play with fellow musicians. Private lessons pair with group rehearsals at the school's summer camp and rock performance sessions, which culminate in a live show at a local venue. Designed for musicians 18 and older, the adult rock program similarly whisks students out of their grownup forts made of utility bills to the stage.
At Sam's Burgers Joint they’re combining incredible burgers with upbeat live music. This rustic little café that doubles as a music venue has continued to satisfy guest for over 11 years. Their stage has seen some of the greatest acts like Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights, Wade Bowen and Roger Clyne. Besides listening to good music, you can also dig into one of their signature branded burgers. Their menu includes the delicious Guacamole Jack burger and the flavorful Bacon Cheddar. All burgers have ½ pound of Angus beef served on a branded Sam’s bun with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, mustard and pickles. They are also serving up crispy fried chicken Samwiches and classic Fish & Chips. Complete the meal with a generous side of piping hot tater tots or onion rings. Top it all off with a creamy milk shake made from Blue Bell ice cream.
A visit to the Almo isn’t complete without a trip to the oldest operating Catholic Cathedral in the United States. Built in 1738, this breath-taking Cathedral was impressively designed in gothic revival style. This Cathedral serves as place of worship as well as a historic site with its location in the busy Downtown area of San Antonio. As you walk into the entryway, you will find the burial tombs of those who had fallen during the battle of the Alamo. Legendary figures such as Davy Crockett, William B. Travis and Jim Bowie are also laid to rest here. The interior of the Cathedral is just as beautiful as the outside. It's detailed impeccably with arched ceilings, grand columns and religious artifacts. Take a seat at one of the wooden pews and listen to the spectacular acoustics of the Cathedral.