The South Alabama Symphony Association (SASA) was formed in 1979 under the leadership of Donna Adams with the help of Joanna Adams, Ralph Purvis, Sally Garner, Anne Cannady, Collier Espy, Denise McGowan, Terry Seymore, Pat Byrne, Connie Miller and the late Julie Holman and Audrey Veazey. The first Executive Board included:
|Dr. & Mrs. Curtis Adams||Mr. & Mrs. Steve McGowan|
|Dr. & Mrs. William Adams||Mr. & Mrs. Charles Newton|
|Mr. & Mrs. Jeff Bishop||Mr. & Mrs. William Nomberg|
|Mr. & Mrs. Leslie Blumberg||Mr. Ralph Purvis|
|Mr. & Mrs. Richard Canaday||Mr. & Mrs. Terry Seymore|
|Mr. & Mrs. Collier Espy||Mr. & Mrs. Betts Slingluff|
|Dr. & Mrs. Joe Garner||Mr. & Mrs. Morris Slingluff|
|Mr. Terrell Glover||Mr. & Mrs. James C. Veazey|
|Dr. & Mrs. LaBruce Hanahan||Mr. & Mrs. Bill Walker|
|Dr. & Mrs. Patrick Jones||Mr. & Mrs. Bill Yeager|
The purpose of the organization was to bring symphonic music to Dothan. At the time, Amerigo Marino was the conductor of the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra which later became the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. He was a personal friend of Donna Adams and they laid the groundwork for a tradition with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra which would span 13 years.
Wallace College supported the Symphony Association from the beginning, offering a place for performances to be held. Performances were later moved to the Opera House and then to the Civic Center in order to accommodate the full symphony orchestra.
After enjoying the Alabama Symphony Orchestra for so many years, SASA was faced with the disbanding of the Orchestra. The first year without the ASO, various musical groups were presented, including Landsberg & Yount, duo-pianists. After considering many options, SASA presented the Columbus Symphony Orchestra for a few years before deciding to organize an orchestra to present our programs. Today, Music South continues the tradition of bringing symphonic music to the Wiregrass area and was proud to present the Alabama Symphony Orchestra once again, after all these years. The Alabama Symphony Orchestra returned in February 2005 for a twenty-fifth year Silver Season concert, including a pre-concert Gala at the Dothan Civic Center.
The South Alabama Symphony Association Guild was established in 1984 as the working arm of SASA. It’s main function was to support and promote symphonic music. The Guild was made up of volunteers who did the “behind the scenes” jobs to bring musical events to the Wiregrass. Guild members ushered at the Youth concerts, helped with in school education programs, organized fund raisers and many other duties to keep our organization running smoothly. The Guilds Fund Raisers included: Christening the Mall, Strutters Ball, Symphony of Homes, Symphony of Trees along with yearly membership luncheons, teas and coffees. The funds raised were used in many ways from music scholarships for local students, funding SASA season expenses and purchasing Orff instruments to be used in the education of Dothan and Houston County students. In the summer of 1988, the SASA Guild sponsored an Orff workshop with Wallace College for Dothan City and Houston County teachers to certify in Orff Level 1 music training. In subsequent summer classes they gained additional certification at Samford University and formed Dothan’s first Orff Chapter.
In 2000, it was decided to change the name of the "symphony" organization to Music South to better reflect the evolution of the musical presentations. Today, the tradition of the South Alabama Symphony Association continues with a broad range of music provided for the Wiregrass youth and adults each season.