The Owensboro Symphony Orchestra (OSO) is the premier producer of live classical and pops music for the Western Kentucky region.
The OSO is a star among orchestras of its size and plays a powerful role in the cultural and economic life of Daviess County. According to the Kentucky Arts Council, the orchestra is among the Top 20 Kentucky arts organizations.
Under the leadership of Maestro Nicholas Palmer, Executive Director William O. Price, and an active and dedicated Board of Directors, the OSO has increased programming nearly 50 percent in the last five years. The OSO performs more than 60 services annually, reaching an estimated audience of more than 50,000 per year.
The symphony was incorporated in 1967 as the Owensboro Civic Orchestra, but its history dates back to 1919.
Symphony performances take place at Cannon Hall in the RiverPark Center, which the city built in 1992 solely as the OSO's concert hall.
The symphony is a professional, per-service orchestra that contracts with about 120 musicians each season. The season includes Masterworks Series Classical Concerts, Pops Concerts, free summer concerts, Arts Teach Kids performances, Family Cushion Concerts, Chamber Music Series, and other concerts in Owensboro and throughout Kentucky and Southern Indiana.
The OSO has been featured on In Performance at the Governor's Mansion on Kentucky Educational Television and has recorded five CDs on commercial labels and the OSO's own Symphony Discoveries label. The symphony frequently is featured on radio broadcasts.
It performed at Governor Paul Patton's inauguration in December 1999 and at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, prior to the 2000 Vice-Presidential Debate. Also, the symphony has toured with LeAnn Rimes, Anne Murray, Dionne Warwick and many other performers.
The OSO provides opportunities for growth and enrichment through its Youth and Cadet Orchestras, Musicians in the Schools, a residency program by guest artists entitled "Guest on the Go," a Young Artist Competition and School Day performances. More than 6,000 young people experience the Owensboro Symphony at RiverPark Center "Arts Teach Kids" concerts.
The Owensboro Symphony Orchestra's commitment to excellence is reflected by a high quality of performances and growth in programming. This growth has been achieved while maintaining strong fiscal responsibility, including corporate sponsorships, individual contributions, and a growing endowment.
The Owensboro Symphony Orchestra is committed to growth, to reaching a large and diverse audience, and to continuing to enrich the lives of Daviess County and regional residents well into the future.
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