International Symphony Orchestra

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International Symphony Orchestra
Founded 1957 (1957)
Location Sarnia, Ontario and Port Huron, Michigan
Principal conductor Douglas Bianchi

The International Symphony Orchestra of Sarnia, Ontario and Port Huron, Michigan began in 1957. The Little Orchestra Society of Sarnia and the Port Huron String Ensemble came together and formed the Orchestra. Currently, the Orchestra is a non-profit organization and consists of around fifty-five musicians who are from both sides of the border between the United States and Canada. Many work full-time in the music profession. Other members are engineers, teachers, doctors, nurses, and homemakers, but all are well-trained musicians. From 1997 - 2011, the Orchestra's music director had been acclaimed Canadian conductor Jerome Summers.[1][2] After an extensive search lasting nearly two years, the Orchestra selected Douglas Bianchi of Wayne State University in 2012 as its new Music Director.[3] The Orchestra performs at various venues and churches in the area throughout each season, including the Imperial Oil Center for the Performing Arts in Sarnia and at the McMorran Theater in Port Huron.

Imperial Theatre Marquee - 5 May 2012 - Final concert of the 2011 - 2012 season

Affiliated organizations[edit]

In 1984, the Symphony Singers joined forces with the Orchestra, and this auditioned chorus remains with the group today. The Symphony also sponsors a Youth Orchestra. Two auxiliary groups also support the organization, the Symphony Association of the Port Huron Area, and the International Symphony Association, and the group also receives support from the Port Huron Musicale[4] and various sponsors and supporters, both private and commercial.

Notable performers[edit]

Many internationally recognized performers have collaborated with the International Symphony Orchestra in past years. Chief among these is Canadian pianist Robert Silverman,[5] who performed Beethoven's Piano Concerto #5 (The Emperor) with the group in 2007.[6] Young prodigy Caroline Goulding[7] has performed numerous times as featured soloist.[8] American Gershwin specialist Kevin Cole graced the stage in April, 2011.[9] Former lead dancer with Riverdance Nora Corrigan[10] has also participated during the Symphony's annual Celtic Concert for many years.[11] Canadian fiddle Champion Shane Cook[12] played with the Orchestra in 2012 and returned in 2013.[13] In 2014, harmonica virtuoso Mike Stevens headlined the orchestra's "Classics Cross Country" concert.[14]

Detroit Music Awards[edit]

In 2011, the International Symphony Orchestra was awarded the title of "Outstanding Community Orchestra" from among several American and Canadian organizations that ring Lake Huron.[15] The Orchestra was again nominated in 2012, but did not win.[16]


  1. ^ "Jerome Summers Biography". Mozart to Miles. Retrieved 16 March 2012. 
  2. ^ Jerome Summers. "Jerome Summers Calendar". Retrieved 16 March 2012. 
  3. ^ "International Symphony Orchestra--Music Director Media Release". Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  4. ^ Beth Hancock. "Port Huron Musicale". Retrieved 16 March 2012. 
  5. ^ HeyShauna. "Robert Silverman Biography". Retrieved 16 March 2012. 
  6. ^ Patrick Hession. "ISO Program, 2 Nov 2007". Retrieved 16 March 2012. 
  7. ^ TechnoStones Interactive (2010). "Caroline Goulding". Retrieved 16 March 2012. 
  8. ^ "Caroline Goulding onstage with the International Symphony Orchestra". Retrieved 16 March 2012. 
  9. ^ "Kevin Cole Online". Retrieved 16 March 2012. 
  10. ^ "Nora Corrigan Biography". Corrigan School of Irish Dance. Retrieved 16 March 2012. 
  11. ^ "Sarnia Observer Events List". The Sarnia Observer. Jan 2008. Retrieved 16 March 2012. 
  12. ^ Dr. Sherry Johnson. "Shane Cook Home". Firewall Visual Communications. Retrieved 16 March 2012. 
  13. ^ "Shane Cook, Tiffany Fewster & International Symphony Video". IPC Media. Retrieved 16 March 2012. 
  14. ^ Staff, The Oberserver Staff (12 February 2014). "See what's on tap in local entertainment". Sarnia Observer. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  15. ^ "Detroit Music Awards". NTouchDesigns. Retrieved 1 May 2012. 
  16. ^ "Detroit Music Awards". NTouchDesigns. Retrieved 1 May 2012.