The BCSO Story

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The BCSO Story

The Bucks County Symphony Orchestra has been sharing the joy of symphonic music with our community since 1954.  Our formation is an interesting story in itself, and our journey through seven decades has been one of continuous evolution and progress.   From humble beginnings, built upon a foundation of confidence and profound commitment, to the current day when we have been forced to weather the disruptions caused by a worldwide pandemic, it has been our good fortune to collectively develop a multitude of creative ways to stay connected with our public and each other throughout these many years.

On this website, you will notice our two newest features:  The BCSO Story and Meet the Orchestra (coming next week).  By sharing ourselves and the history of the BCSO with you, who have come to be an integral part of the Symphony’s family, we hope to both entertain you and pique your curiosity to find out more about one of Bucks County’s cultural treasures.

The “chapters” of our story will change two or three times each month, while the video messages in Meet the Orchestra will update as they are received.  You will discover fascinating facts about our first concert in 1954, how our logo came into being, the honors and awards that have been presented to the BCSO over the years, our four music directors and their influence on the development of the Orchestra, special events that have defined and enhanced our programs…and much, much more.

We invite you to come on this journey with us, until we can meet again in person and together share the joy of symphonic music through live performance!

Welcome to The BCSO Story

The BCSO Logo

If you look closely at any printed or digital materials produced by the Bucks County Symphony Orchestra, you will find a “handsome line drawing” of three intertwined instruments—a violin, a bassoon, and a French horn. Whenever possible you will also see a name adjacent to the instruments: Katharine Steele Renninger.

Concerts for the Young … and the Young at Heart

At its very first meeting in 1953, the Bucks County Symphony Society established as one of its primary purposes the promotion of “musical education programs in which the children of Bucks County, Pennsylvania … can participate.”

Community Accolades for the BCSO

The Bucks County Symphony Orchestra has been privileged to serve the Bucks County community since 1953. In return, the Orchestra has been the beneficiary of tremendous support over the years from its generous sponsors and donors and its legion of faithful concert patrons, attesting to its outstanding reputation in the community for high quality musical performances.

In the Beginning: Creating an Orchestra

As the summer of 1953 drew to a close, America was a land at peace and brimming with optimism for a prosperous future. This was particularly evident in the burgeoning suburbs of the nation’s great cities, where increasingly affluent citizens yearned for more convenient access to cultural institutions and for opportunities to participate in local musical ensembles, especially choruses and symphonic orchestras.

Concert Program for the BCSO’s March 27, 1954 Inaugural Concert

Just what did the orchestra play that so enraptured over 800 concert-goers during its first public performance?

BCSO’s Inaugural Concert

The Bucks County Symphony Orchestra presented its first public performance on Saturday, March 27, 1954.


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