Orchestra and Chorus

History

For more than six decades, the Georgia Symphony Orchestra has engaged audiences through imaginative programming, visionary leadership, and critically acclaimed performances. The standard of musicianship and artistry at every concert continues to be recognized and admired.

The musicians of the GSO are dedicated professionals throughout the community.  Since the GSO’s founding in 1951 accomplished musicians have come here to share their musical gifts with our audiences. The Georgia Symphony Orchestra had its beginnings in the music room of the home of Arthur F. Moor at 383 Church Street in Marietta.  The Marietta Music Club’s Mrs. Howard Miller is credited for the promotion of the Marietta Concert Orchestra.  This group later became the Marietta Symphony, the Cobb Symphony, and finally the Georgia Symphony Orchestra.  One of the members of the Marietta Music Club, Mrs. Elizabeth Moor Tomlinson, so loved the orchestra that upon her death she bequeathed $50,000 to it.  Her brother, Mr. Ralph C. Moor, continues to support the GSO in his sister’s name.

The quality of the orchestra’s performances has steadily increased over the years, due to the dedication and talent of its member musicians and that of Betty Shipman Bennett, the GSO’s conductor from 1955 until her retirement in 1989. Ms. Bennett developed a great orchestra that enabled her successor, Steven Byess, to attract other local talented musicians to the GSO. During his ten years as the Music Director, he expanded the number of professional musicians and continued to raise the artistic standards of the orchestra.

July 1, 2004, marked the beginning of Michael Alexander’s tenure with the Georgia Symphony Orchestra, during which time the orchestra has continued to grow.  2007 saw the addition of the Georgia Symphony Chorus, which, under the direction of Bryan Black, draws volunteer singers from all over the greater metro region to perform choral/orchestral works with the GSO and give independent concerts as well.  Highlights of previous seasons include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Mahler’s Second Symphony, Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols and Orff’s Carmina Burana.