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Mayor Battle Proclaims "Symphony Week" to Celebrate Orchestra's 60th Year in Huntsville

October 20, 2014

(Huntsville, AL) - With great fanfare from Huntsville Symphony Orchestra principal trumpeter Christopher Coletti, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle proclaimed October 20-25 as Symphony Week to mark HSO's 60th year in Huntsville.

"These past 60 years have been a gift to our community, and we pause today to acknowledge the cultural impact these musicians have made on our high quality of life," said Mayor Battle. "Music touches our soul. It inspires us to think differently, to think creatively and to embrace life in ways we might not have imagined."

Mayor Battle and HSO Board Chair Patrick Robbins gathered with orchestra fans in front of the Mark C. Smith Concert Hall today to announce a week-long celebration of musical activities across the city. More than one dozen concerts are planned at schools, assisted living facilities and public gathering places. For more information visit www.hso.org.

History of the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra

April 1950 - Wernher von Braun and his team arrive in Huntsville, and the population triples in five years

December 1954 - Arthur Fraser, future Music Director and Conductor of the Huntsville Civic Orchestra, and cellist Alvin Dreger invite musicians to organize a symphony orchestra in Huntsville

February 1955 - 40 musicians respond to the invitation and rehearsals begin

December 13, 1955 - The first symphony orchestra concert is held at Huntsville High School

August 1956 - Huntsville Civic Orchestra Association is chartered

1968 - Name is changed to "Huntsville Symphony Orchestra"

May 1970 - First "Pops in the Park" concert

March 15, 1975 - The Huntsville Symphony Orchestra plays to a sold-out audience for the grand opening of the VBC Concert Hall

July 15, 1989 - The Huntsville Symphony Orchestra performs under Space Shuttle for celebration of 20th Anniversary of man's walk on the moon

1997 - The Huntsville Symphony Orchestra Symphony School is formed

2003 - The budget of the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra increases four-fold, exceeding the $1 million mark

2011 - Current Music Director and Conductor, Gregory Vajda, is chosen from an international conductor search to lead the orchestra

2014 - The HSO celebrates 60 years of providing continuous, professional music to the communities of Huntsville and the north Alabama region. HSO now has more than 74 professional musicians under contract and has engaged in more than 500 performances since 1955.

Additional Files:
PROCLAMATION (.pdf file)


For more information, please contact:

Kelly Cooper Schrimsher, Director of Communications, Office of the Mayor, 256-427-5006 (w), kelly.schrimsher@huntsvilleal.gov

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