Huntsville Symphony Orchestra

The Huntsville Symphony Orchestra is well-known in the state of Alabama. A lot of residents of Huntsville as well as those in surrounding cities frequent the area to listen to the orchestra. The symphonic orchestra regularly has shows and events.

It is currently under the musical directorship of Gregory Vajda. He is also the current conductor of the orchestra. There is also a resident conductor in the orchestra, Joseph Lee. it is believed to be the longest continuously operating orchestra of its kind in Alabama.

Brief History

The orchestra was established in the mid 1950’s by a local cellist named Allan Dreger and their very first conductor was Dr. Arthur M. Fraser. When it was established in 1955, there were forty musically inclined participants; most of which belonged to the German rocket science team of Wernher von Braun.

The community is often treated to different genres of music every year. There are usually a classical series, pop series and Casual Classics series for their audience to enjoy.

The editor of the Huntsville Times, Patrick Macauley, also served as a board member of the team and was also a one time president of the orchestra. He sat as a board member from the year 1966 to the year 1994.

The Huntsville Symphony Orchestra usually performs in the Von Braun center in Huntsville. Performances are usually done in the Mark C. Smith Hall but there are also some times when the orchestra performs somewhere else.

Notable Performers

There have been several notable performers and musicians who has visited the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra.

These include, but are not limited to, Manuel Barrueco, a renowned classical guitarist, Yoyo Ma, a well known cellist and the Canadian Brass.

Conductors through the years include, their very first Arthur Fraser, who served from 1954 to 9159, Russel Gerhart who conducted from the year 1959 to 1971, Marx Pales who was in the orchestra directly after Gerhart from 1971 to 1988. Taavo Virkhaus and Carlos Miguel Prieto followed respectively during the years 1989 to 2003 and 2003 to 2011.

Interactions with the Community

The orchestra not only holds performances but they are also very active in the community. They have several free family concerts for those who are interested well as outreach programs and music education events for people of all ages.

Their free family concerts are usually aimed at bringing music and rhythm to families and homes. The outreach programs encourage interest in music, arts and culture especially in young and old alike.

Music education is one of their primary aims so that the locals will enjoy their concerts and events even more.

They have an active website in which individuals may book their tickets as well as view any upcoming event or concert. The orchestra and its administration works very closely with the community in order to bring culture and music to the residents of Huntsville.

A lot of attendees post reviews of the concerts and events that the orchestra puts on. Most of the reviews are very positive while some are constructive criticism from which members of the team may learn from or improve on.

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