About SMART


The San Marcos Artists’ Retention and Training Orchestra (SMART) is dedicated to the enhanced appreciation and understanding of orchestral music in San Marcos and its surrounding communities. This is accomplished by providing an opportunity for developing musicians to perform and learn in a full symphony orchestra as well as through a free, community concert series, various educational outreach opportunities, as well as instructor and internship programs. The orchestra was built upon the idea that we need to retain the talent we have and we need to train them to become better musicians, and that’s exactly what it’s done over the past 8 years.

The SMART Orchestra is designed to be an outlet for every individual interested in the study and performance of orchestral music and we encourage participants to contribute their time, talent, and skill to better serve the orchestra’s mission. Whether you are a member of our audience, performing in the SMART viola section or serving on the SMART Board, your enthusiasm and curiosity are welcome in an environment of acceptance and growth.


Executive Directors


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Christopher T. F. Hanson

Artistic Director

Conductor, violinist, composer, pedagogue, and musicologist, Hanson enjoys working with a large and eclectic group of ensembles in the state of Texas and abroad. Hanson holds three Masters Degrees from Texas State University in Music History, Music Theory, and Music Composition. He is currently working on his PhD in School Improvement at Texas State University, with a focus on teacher and student agency; as well as, a Masters in Applied Philosophy and Ethics, with a focus on the transformative powers of fine arts education . As a violinist and composer Hanson has premiered several works in multiple genres and serves as the chief arranger and first violinist of the Sacred Ensemble with Dr. Shana Mashego. Hanson works as the Orchestra Director for San Marcos High School in San Marcos CISD. He is the founder and artistic director of the SMART Orchestra, a community-based orchestra created to encourage string education, established in the city of San Marcos in 2009. Hanson currently resides in Kyle, Texas with his wife Erin, and his two children Emily and Graham.

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Coming Soon!

Executive Director

Bio coming soon!


Board of Directors


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Jeremy Sustaita

President

Jeremy Sustaita joined SMART in 2017 midseason as a clarinet player and currently serves as President on the Board of Directors. He has been playing the clarinet for over 25 years, 16 of which have been professionally. He teaches privately in the San Marcos area. He also plays soprano/alto/tenor saxophone and is currently learning flute. He was born and raised in San Marcos, Texas and studied music education at SWT where he studied under Dr. David Pino and performed with the Bobcat Marching Band, Basketball band, Symphonic Band, and Wind Ensemble. He was a drum major at SMHS in 1999, and a winner of the Arion Award and Outstanding Bandsman Award. In High School he studied under Gordon Sabin.

Aside from playing over 6 seasons with the Starlight Symphony, 4 seasons with the Hill country Community Band, and even substituting for the Austin Civic Orchestra, Jeremy also composes/arranges woodwind trios, quartets and quintets in his spare time. Jeremy utilizes his composition skills to tailor his clarinet/music education to each individual student’s needs and challenge them further. He is excited to be in his current position with SMART and has so much faith in our Community Orchestra and what it can do!

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Erin E. Hanson

Vice President of Membership

Erin E. Hanson is a classically trained mezzo-soprano who regularly performs recitals and appears with companies such as the National Music Festival and Austin Opera. She brings years of non-profit administrative experience and true passion for the arts to SMART Orchestra. Hanson received her Master of Music degree from Texas State University, where she studied Voice Performance and performed principal roles with Texas State Opera. Hanson is a staunch advocate of arts education and community arts initiatives, working collaboratively with multiple arts organizations in San Marcos and the Texas Hill Country.

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Stephanie Symmes

Vice President of Community Relations

Bio Coming Soon!

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Jessica Oswalt Shelnutt

Secretary

Photo and Bio Coming Soon!

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Julian Jones

Treasurer

Photo and Bio Coming Soon!

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Mike Greene

Member-at-Large

Photo and Bio Coming Soon!

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Roxanna Moore

Member-at-Large

Photo and Bio Coming Soon!