- Education and Youth
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, as we emerge from over a year of non-performance due to a worldwide pandemic, we look forward to a bright new era of live performance and educational outreach.
Please enjoy this special feature as we traverse 70 years of BCSO history together!
The Bucks County Symphony Orchestra isn’t just about great music presented in a formal concert-style setting. Sure, that is its bread-and butter, but since the BCSO’s founding there has always been a social and, admittedly, fundraising element involved. Thus, the Symphony Ball!
The BCSO was formed in 1953 with a mission to present classical symphonic music for the purpose of “fostering and cultivation of fine music for the mutual enjoyment and benefit of its members and the residents of Bucks County” and to “maintain a symphony orchestra for the cultural benefit of the residents of Bucks County.”
It’s hard to believe that the BCSO’s first “pops concert,” a highly anticipated event in our annual concert schedule, was presented only after the Symphony had celebrated its 20th anniversary!
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.
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.”
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.
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.
Just what did the orchestra play that so enraptured over 800 concert-goers during its first public performance?
The Bucks County Symphony Orchestra presented its first public performance on Saturday, March 27, 1954.