The Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra begins its new season the first weekend of October.

The Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra has been around for more than 30 years, providing professional and amateur musicians with an outlet to display their talents while giving local residents an opportunity to enjoy a variety of musical selections and performances.

Tim Secomb is a professor at the University of Arizona, but like many of the the orchestra's members, he has a passion for music and the orchestra.

He joined the group when he moved to Tucson in 1982 and has been an active member of the orchestra ever since. He is the group's second vice president and personnel manager and also plays the violin, an instrument he started learning when he was 11 years old.

"Playing music is very enjoyable and an important part of my life, " he says. "And the orchestra is a great chance to do that."

Board president Dee Schroer is also a violinist, and a more recent addition to the group than Secomb.

Schroer and her husband moved to southern Arizona to get away from the frigid Chicago winters when they retired. She found the warmer temperatures they sought, along with a warm reception at the orchestra.

"The performance itself is fun, the practicing is fun and the people that you meet in the orchestra," she says. "It's just such a wonderful experience doing something that you really, really like to do."

Linus Lerner, who completed his doctorate degree in orchestral conducting at the University of Arizona, is the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra's music director--and a long-distance commuter. He travels between Tucson and Houston, where he is the artistic director of Bayou City Performing Arts.

Secomb, Schroer and Lerner share their experiences with Arizona Illustrated.

SASO's opening concerts are on Saturday and Sunday October 8 and 9.