Symphony Welcomes Back Familiar Faces for 100th Anniversary Concert | Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra
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Symphony Welcomes Back Familiar Faces for 100th Anniversary Concert


KALAMAZOO, Mich.– On Saturday, June 18, the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra will wrap up 100 years of music-making with its 100th Anniversary Concert. The concert will tell the story of the Kalamazoo Symphony through historical visuals, an engaging narration, and a few works performed throughout the organization’s history.

About the Concert

This unique concert will feature a series of excerpts from a few of classical music’s most well-known works, including Ludwig van Beethoven’s famous Ninth Symphony and Franz Schubert’s Eighth and “Unfinished” Symphony. Every piece on the program was selected for its place in Kalamazoo Symphony history or hand-selected by the guest artist.

The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. at Miller Auditorium, located at 2200 Auditorium Drive in Kalamazoo on Western Michigan University’s campus, and will be conducted by Symphony Music Director Julian Kuerti.


About the Artists

The performance welcomes back familiar faces from throughout the organization’s history. Music Director Emeritus Raymond Harvey will join the orchestra to conduct an excerpt from Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations. Concertmaster Emeritus (and former assistant conductor) Barry Ross will once again step front and center for Jules Massenet’s Méditation from the composer’s opera Thaïs. The longest-standing member of the orchestra, Principal Tuba Robert Whaley, will perform a movement of Ralph Vaughn Willaims’ Tuba Concerto.

Leta Snow and the Kalamazoo Symphony

Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra's history begins with its founder, Leta G. Snow, local civic leader and future founder of the national League of American Orchestras.  Snow felt that a local symphony orchestra was essential for developing a community with an attractive quality of life. The 100th Anniversary Concert will honor Snow and her vision that has guided the Kalamazoo Symphony for over 100 years.

What began as one woman's dream a century ago has become an integral part of the region's cultural life through the unwavering support of the Kalamazoo community. The Symphony's first concert featured an all-volunteer orchestra on December 21, 1921 at the Masonic Temple under conductor Chester Z. Bronson. Now, 100 years later, the Symphony is achieving artistic and institutional growth and excitement with more than 80 professional musicians under the leadership of Music Director Julian Kuerti (appointed in 2018).


Concert tickets are available online at or by calling the Epic Center’s Community Box Office at 269.349.7759.

Music Connects Us 100th Anniversary Campaign

The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra’s Music Connects Us 100th Anniversary Campaign is an $8.8 million community effort to ensure a vibrant future for the KSO's next 100 years. This bold initiative will enhance the symphony's artistic excellence, community engagement, and financial sustainability. Gifts to the Music Connects Us campaign can be made online at


About the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra
Making symphonic music a part of everyday life for 100 years, the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra shares lifelong musical experiences and learning throughout our community. The Symphony is on the stage—and online—actively collaborating with other Kalamazoo area organizations to inspire, care for, educate, and connect people through the arts. The Symphony is the state’s third-largest orchestra, serving Michigan’s sixth-largest metropolitan area with a professional roster of more than 80 musicians and a dedicated staff through exceptional symphonic music, world-class guest artists, and a vibrant educational program.


The Symphony receives major support from the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation, the Kalamazoo Community Foundation, and the Stryker Johnston Foundation, and is supported by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. Recognitions, awards, and grants include a major Ford Foundation grant to establish an innovative Artists in Residence program, and recognition from Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute. The Symphony also receives generous support from other local, state, and national foundations, as well as private and corporate support.


Tags: 100, Anniversary, KSO News