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The Mission of the Georgia Symphony Orchestra is to enrich and engage diverse audiences through the presentation of music at the highest artistic level.
Founded in 1951, the Georgia Symphony Orchestra had its beginnings in the music room of the home of Arthur F. Moor at 383 Church Street in Marietta. The Marietta Music Club's Mrs. Howard Miller is credited for the promotion of the Marietta Concert Orchestra. This group later became the Marietta Symphony and is now the Georgia Symphony Orchestra. One of the members of the Marietta Music Club, Mrs. Elizabeth Moor Tomlinson, so loved the orchestra that upon her death she bequeathed $50,000 to the Georgia Symphony Orchestra. Her brother, Mr. Ralph C. Moor, continues to support the GSO in his sister's name.
The quality of the Orchestra's performances has steadily increased over the years, due to the dedication and talent of its member musicians and that of Betty Shipman Bennett who served as the GSO's conductor from 1955 until her retirement in 1989. Ms. Bennett developed a great orchestra that enabled her successor, Steven Byess, to attract other local talented musicians to the GSO. During his ten years as the Music Director, he expanded the number of professional musicians and continued to raise the artistic standards of the orchestra.
July 1, 2004, marked the official beginning of Michael Alexander's leadership of the Georgia Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Alexander brings with him a whole host of skills as an accomplished conductor, as well as an enthusiastic spirit that enables him to bring out the very best in the GSO musicians. His goal is to break down the barriers to classical music by providing an audience-friendly atmosphere and programming.
Fund-raising has always been an essential component for the GSO. The symphony relies on the generosity of corporate and individual donors to ensure its continued success.
As the community has grown, the Georgia Symphony has grown with it and continues to be an important component in the cultural life and economic development of Cobb County and the surrounding area.
- Susan Stensland
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