Alamo Trust, San Antonio Symphony to Stage Musical to ‘Remember’ Battle

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Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report

Corey Cowart, the Symphony’s executive director, speaks in front of the Alamo about the premiere of Remember: A Musical Honoring Those Who Gave Their Lives For Texas, featuring the San Antonio Symphony.

Three San Antonio stalwarts will join forces to produce a musical next year for the 184th anniversary of the Alamo battle.

The Alamo Trust and the Tobin Endowment will present the premiere of Remember: A Musical Honoring Those Who Gave Their Lives For Texas, featuring the San Antonio Symphony. The musical, commissioned by the Alamo Trust, will represent the first time these three partners have collaborated on an event.

Two performances of Remember will take place at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts on Feb. 29, with a matinee and an evening performance.

At a news conference Monday announcing the event, Councilman Roberto Treviño (D1) said, “Once word gets out across the state, I wouldn’t be surprised if both are sellout performances.”

Tickets go on sale Dec. 1, which a press announcement notes is “just in time for holiday gift giving.” Proceeds from the performances will benefit the Remember The Alamo Foundation, Treviño said.

“As a native Texan, this is a story I think all of us hear from the time we are young,” stated Corey Cowart, the Symphony’s executive director, in a news release. “The Symphony is proud to be the soundtrack for the stories of San Antonio, past, present, and future.”

The Alamo Trust announced that the musical will based on a script by W. Blake Winchell, with music by Brett Strader. Both reside in the San Francisco Bay area, though Winchell is an Austin native and “a very good personal friend of mine,” said J. Bruce Bugg Jr., chair of the Tobin Endowment. “Even though he lives in California … he hadn’t lost his Texas roots at all.”

Winchell is known primarily as an equity investor. Strader is listed as musical director for a 2016 Pacific Coast Repertory Theatre production of My Fair Lady.

Conspicuous in promotional materials is the inclusion of a less familiar name among the better-known heroes of the 1836 Alamo battle: Carlos Espalier. Listed alongside Stephen F. Austin, Sam Houston, Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, and William Barret Travis, Espalier is said to be one of only six Alamo defenders to have been born in Texas territory, and a Bowie “protégé.”

Cowart said he had the opportunity to see the musical score, to see what makeup of orchestral musicians, instrumentation, chorus, and singing roles would be needed. Each of “eight or nine” lead singing roles will be played by California singers, said Alamo CEO Douglass McDonald.

The 2020 anniversary of the Alamo battle also will be special thanks to a piece of Alamo trivia. Like 2020, 1836 was a leap year, McDonald said. The coincidence will allow a full 13-day commemoration, honoring the full period of the original siege and battle.

“The Alamo means so much to so many,” said Welcome Wilson Jr., chairman of the Alamo Trust. “It’s not just a part of the Texas story, it is woven deeply into the fabric of Texan identity. The community of the Alamo enthusiasts across the country will be quite moved by Remember. It brings to life the valiant heroes of our childhood in its moving lyrics and powerful music score. I encourage everyone who has been inspired by Texas to please go see it.”

Tickets will go on sale on the Tobin Center website.

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