Maryland Symphony Orchestra
The Maryland Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1982 by a small group of Washington County, Maryland civic leaders and music lovers. From its beginnings through the conclusion of its sixteenth season in 1997 - 1998, artistic leadership was provided by internationally acclaimed horn vituoso Barry Tuckwell. Elizabeth Schulze, formerly associate conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra, became music director of the MSO in the 1999 - 2000 season.
From five classical concerts in its first season, programming has grown to include MSO Pops! Concert, two Holiday Concerts, a Family Concert, a free "Salute to Independence" Concert at Antietam National Battlefield, three Citi Youth Concerts for 4th grade students, a series of Kinder Konzerts for preschool and kindergarten children, and occasional concerts in Frostburg and Frederick. Members of the MSO give numerous ensemble performances for Washington County elementary and middle school students as part of its education outreach program, in addition to performing for residents of area and retirement centers.
Since its founding, the orchestra's annual audience has grown from 4,500 to 60,000, while its operating budget has increased from $100,000 to just over $1.3 million. The orchestra has also performed world premieres of five compositions, two of which were commissioned.
Despite its growth, the Maryland Symphony Orchestra has never deviated from its mission "to provide musical performances and programs that educate and entertain while enhancing the cultural environment of Western Maryland and the surrounding region." It has done that and more.
Today, the Maryland Symphony Orchestra is widely recognized as one of Washington County's most valuable assets—a jewel that continues to shine brightly for music lovers everywhere. It plays regularly in the Maryland Theatre.
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