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We strongly believe in the value and power of music to inspire community, build connections and serve as a catalyst for the growth and development of people in many ways. To that end, while our primary focus is musical performance, just as important is our desire to provide diverse educational experiences for children and adults that build and support the appreciation of music with all generations. Of course, we value fiscal integrity as well, so we strive to create a balance between our passion for reaching everyone in an innovative and thoughtful way and our stewardship of resources.
Therefore, our mission is to be a catalyst for an inspired community through live and innovative musical performances of the highest quality.
Established in 1946 originally as a civic orchestra on the campus of Salem College, the Winston-Salem Symphony incorporated in 1952 and hired its first full-time conductor in 1955. Four permanent music directors have led the WSS since its inception: Maestro James Lerch (1946-1949), Maestro John Iuele (1952-1978), Maestro Peter Perret (1979-2004) and Maestro Robert Moody (2005-present).
Over the years the WSS has offered a wide range of repertoires including classical orchestral and choral concert music; opera, oratorio, and ballet; and popular music. Education and community engagement performances have represented another core component of the Symphony’s offerings, along with partnerships with other area arts, educational, and social services organizations.