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The Waterbury Symphony Orchestra shall serve the communities of Northwestern Connecticut by supporting and promoting the understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of the highest quality symphonic and orchestral music through concerts and educational programs.
The Waterbury Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1938 to promote the understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of symphonic and orchestral music. Over the past seven decades, the Orchestra has followed its original core mission ? presenting concerts, courses, lectures and musical events in Waterbury and the surrounding towns in northwestern Connecticut. The WSO?s mission has grown in vision and artistic merit since its first performance as a community orchestra under the direction of Maestro Mario DiCecco (May 1938). Incorporated in 1940 as the Waterbury Civic Orchestra, it became the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra in 1956, and by the early 1970?s had become a fully professional symphony orchestra - the only one of its kind in northwestern Connecticut.Leif Bjaland was appointed Music Director and Conductor of the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra in 1994. Over his 10 years with the WSO, Bjaland?s relationship with the community has grown and deepened. He is a wildly popular favorite with Waterbury audiences.
The Symphony draws from over 200 talented musicians from the New England area to perform in our subscription concert series at the Naugatuck Valley Community College Fine Arts Center and the Palace Theater in Waterbury ? for 450 regular subscribers, as well as single ticket purchasers that include individuals and families ranging in age from 4 to 90 who reside in the greater Waterbury area. In 2004, the WSO had the opportunity and privilege to present two performances of The Nutcracker with the Nutmeg Ballet at Waterbury?s newly renovated Palace Theater. The theater?s renovation and reopening has been anticipated and celebrated for some time?and the results have been dramatic.
Our vision for future fulfillment includes a new relationship with the Greater Waterbury Youth Symphony, a relationship which will have orchestra musicians mentoring the student musicians in master classes, opening rehearsals to GWYS musicians (to experience the tension and challenge of the professional rehearsal), and to encourage the student musician to invite the professional musician to their home school to instruct a class in a particular instrument.
The Symphony continues to align with the Cheshire School System and the Cheshire Education Foundation to offer music students (middle and high school) master classes by instrument section, the inclusion of a professional WSO musician as a guest artist at their school Spring Concert, and a special Side-by-Side performance for the community. The Cheshire Community will pursue a similar project this year involving instrument ensembles and intends to present another Side-by-Side concert in the next few years. This collaboration will be used as a model for the Symphony?s project with the Greater Waterbury Youth Symphony.
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