About the SymphonyOur mission is to:
- present a wide range of symphonic music at an affordable price to entertain and enrich the lives of our audience. Learn more.
- educate young and underserved audiences. Learn more.
- provide opportunities for young artists and capable musicians to perform. Learn more.
HistoryDr. D. Duer Reynolds, a prominent local physician, and Ray Lyman Ott, head of the Kennett Consolidated School music department, founded the Kennett Community Symphony Orchestra in 1940 as an all-volunteer orchestra. It quickly evolved into an association of professional musicians from Pennsylvania and surrounding states and gained a reputation for producing quality symphonic music. Today the Kennett Symphony of Chester County is Chester County, Pennsylvania's only professional symphony orchestra.
Since its inception 70 years ago, the KSCC has had the benefit of the services of eight outstanding music conductors beginning with Ray Lyman Ott (1942-1961) to the present conductor/director, Mary Woodmansee Green, who will celebrate her 25th year with the 2012-2013 concert season. Maestra Green was the first woman to be appointed conductor of a professional symphony in Pennsylvania.
The KSCC performs six concerts annually including an annual free children's concert with instrument petting zoo. Concerts are performed at venues throughout Chester County including Longwood Gardens Open Air Theatre, The Emilie K. Asplundh Concert Hall at West Chester University and the Kennett High School Auditorium.
Community outreach programs include scheduling annual instrumental and vocal performance competitions for young artists. Outreach was expanded in 1990 with the formation of a Kennett Symphony Children's Chorus, founded by Karen L. Markey, now comprising nearly 100 student vocalists, ages six through eighteen. In 2006 the chorus transitioned to become the Kennett Symphony Children's Chorus in residence at West Chester University and is currently under the direction of Eileen Keller.
Among the highlights of the KSCC's history, in 2006 the Symphony was invited to perform a world premiere of The Century Garden, a commissioned work by Robert Maggio choreographed to dancing fountains, in recognition of the 100th birthday of the founding of Longwood Gardens by Pierre DuPont.
Support for the KSCC comes from ticket sales, fund raising events, educational and cultural partnerships, small businesses, corporations, foundations, government agencies, and individual contributions.
While paid professional staff and musicians have been essential to the success and longevity of the KSCC, without the dedicated efforts of countless volunteers, KSCC would not be the outstanding organization it is today.