Springfield Symphony Orchestra

The Springfield Symphony Orchestra is an American orchestra based in Springfield, Massachusetts. It performs at Symphony Hall, a part of the Springfield Municipal Group.[1]

The Springfield Symphony (SSO) got its start when the conductor of the amateur Pioneer Valley Symphony of Greenfield, Alexander Leslie, decided he was ready to lead a professional organization. After gaining the support of the area cultural and business communities, Leslie began to assemble an orchestra based in Springfield, which had no professional orchestra.

The SSO performed its first concert at the Municipal Auditorium in 1944.[2] Its first performance was given great reviews and even recorded by the Office of War Information for rebroadcast overseas.

The SSO has throughout its history support musical education programs in the Greater Springfield area.

Springfield Symphony Orchestra before concert
Players of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra warm up prior to a performance, 2018

Today, the SSO is the largest symphony in Massachusetts outside of Boston. It consists of 80 musicians from New England and Canada and usually holds as many as 150 performances as either the full orchestra or in ensemble formats. Its concerts are often broadcast over WFCR, the area NPR station. The current music director is Kevin Rhodes.[3]

It is the parent organization of two youth orchestras: the Springfield Youth Sinfonia (formally Young Person's Philharmonia) and the Springfield Youth Orchestra (formally Young Person's Symphony). They offer young musicians a chance to play in a full orchestra, an option not offered in many schools.

Springfield Symphony Orchestra
Logo of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra
LocationSpringfield, Massachusetts, US
Concert hallSpringfield Symphony Hall
Music directorKevin Rhodes


  1. ^ Goonan, Peter (October 4, 2013). "Spirit of Springfield announces 100-year anniversary celebration of City Hall, Symphony Hall, Campanile". MassLive.com. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  2. ^ Cruickshank, Ginger (2000). Springfield, Volume II. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4396-2738-9.
  3. ^ Auerbach, Mark G. (September 4, 2014). "Kevin Rhodes: Springfield Symphony's Maestro". The Westfield News. Retrieved June 22, 2018.

External links

Alfred Laubin

Alfred Laubin (1906 – September 6, 1976) was an American oboist and founder of A. Laubin.

Alfred Laubin was born in 1906 in Detroit, where his father Carl was a charter member of that city's orchestra, playing the oboe and the clarinet. His early oboe studies were in Boston with Lenom, DeVergie, and Gillet, who exercised the greatest influence on Laubin to start making oboes.

Laubin played in Boston as an extra with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and at the Esplanade Concerts. He was the first oboe with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra under Leonard Bernstein, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. He played second oboe with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra under Fritz Reiner and played the first season, as well as several successive ones, with the New York City Opera Orchestra.

Apo Hsu

Apo Hsu or Hsu Ching-hsin (Chinese: 許瀞心; pinyin: Xǔ Jìngxīn) is a conductor born in Taiwan and resident of both Taiwan and the United States. Hsu served as music director of the National Taiwan Normal University Symphony Orchestra and the Springfield Symphony Orchestra in Springfield, Missouri. Her past appointments include serving as artistic director of The Women's Philharmonic in San Francisco, California, and conductor of the Oregon Mozart Players in Eugene, Oregon. She has been a mentor for many young conductors on both sides of the world through her work at NTNU and at The Conductor’s Institute at Bard College in New York. Her performances have been featured in national broadcasts in the United States (on National Public Radio), Taiwan (on International Community Radio Taipei), and Korea (on Korean Broadcasting System).

Douglas Metcalf

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Geoffrey Moull

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Gloria González

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John Ferritto

John E. Ferritto (January 20, 1937 – January 7, 2010) was an American composer, conductor, and music professor.

He graduated with honors in piano and violin performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and also holds a M.M. in composition from Yale University, where he studied piano with Ward Davenny, conducting with Gustav Meier, and composition with Mel Powell. He also studied at the American Academy in Rome and at Tanglewood, with Gunther Schuller, and Erich Leinsdorf.

He made his conducting debut with the U.S. Seventh Army Symphony Orchestra on tour in Germany, France, and Italy. He was associate conductor of the New Haven Symphony, Conductor of the Chamber Orchestra of the North Shore in Chicago, and director/conductor of the American Federation of Musicians Congress of Strings in Cincinnati.

As a guest conductor, he has appeared with the Radio Television Orchestra of Bucharest, the State Orchestra of Greece, the Toledo Symphony, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra (Ohio), the Charleston S.C. Symphony, the Michigan Chamber Orchestra, Eastern Music Festival, the New Haven Opera, the New Haven Ballet, and the American Ballet Theatre. He has conducted the Orchestras of both the Peabody Conservatory and the Cleveland Institute of Music, and is the former director of the Kent/Blossom Summer Music program.

Additionally, he was Conductor Laureate of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra in Springfield, Ohio, after serving as Music Director and Conductor, a post he held from 1971.

He served on the theory and composition faculties at the University of Chicago, the University of Texas at Austin, and was Professor Emeritus of Composition at Kent State University.

Ferritto was married to the violist Marcia Ferritto.

John Ferritto died on January 7, 2010.

Lynn Klock

Lynn Klock (born August 12, 1950) is an American classical saxophonist and educator. He is Principal Saxophone of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Mark Hetzler

Mark Hetzler (born 1968 in Sarasota, Florida) is an American trombonist and former member of the Empire Brass Quintet. Hetzler has performed with the Minnesota Orchestra, Boston Pops, Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Springfield Symphony Orchestra, Florida Orchestra, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. As a member of the Empire Brass Quintet from 1996-2012, he performed in recital and as a soloist with symphony orchestras in Australia, Taiwan, Korea, China, Venezuela, Brazil, Japan, Hong Kong, Germany, Italy, Austria, Malaysia, Singapore, Switzerland, Bermuda, St. Bartholomew and across the United States. He appeared with the Empire Brass Quintet on live television and radio broadcasts in Asia and the United States. He is on several of the critically acclaimed Empire Brass CDs on the Telarc label, including Firedance, The Glory of Gabrieli, and a recording of Baroque music for Brass and Organ. Hetzler has recorded ten solo albums released on Summit Records; he has also recorded for the Arista Records label.

Hetzler received a bachelor's degree in music from Boston University and a master's degree from the New England Conservatory of Music. From 2000 - 2004, Hetzler was a faculty member at Florida International University where he ran the trombone studio. In addition, he was also a professor at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. At Lynn, he ran the trombone studio and taught music appreciation. Currently, Hetzler is a professor in the School of Music at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he continues to teach trombone and performs with the resident quintet.

Michael Jeffrey Shapiro

Michael Jeffrey Shapiro (born February 1, 1951) is an American composer and conductor.

The son of a Klezmer band clarinetist, Michael Shapiro was born in Brooklyn, New York, and spent most of his high school years in Baldwin, a Long Island suburb, where he was a music student of Consuelo Elsa Clark, William Zurcher, and Rudolf Bosakowski. The winner of several piano competitions during his youth, he earned his B.A. at Columbia College, Columbia University, where he majored in English literature and concentrated in music, benefiting most—according to his own assessment—from some of the department’s stellar musicology faculty, which, at that time, included such international luminaries as Paul Henry Lang, Denis Stevens, Joel Newman, and others. He studied conducting independently with Carl Bamberger at the Mannes College of Music in New York and later with Harold Farberman at Bard College. At The Juilliard School, where he earned his master's degree, he studied solfège and score reading with the renowned Mme. Renée Longy—known to generations of Juilliard students as “the infamous madame of dictation” for her rigorous demands and classic pedagogic methods—and composition with Vincent Persichetti. His most influential composition teacher, however, was Elie Siegmeister, with whom he studied privately.

Shapiro is Laureate Conductor of the Chappaqua Orchestra in New York’s Westchester County, which he conducted for the world premiere of his score for the classic 1931 film Frankenstein (directed by James Whale and starring Boris Karloff) (which has since its premiere received over forty productions internationally) as well as for the world premiere of his own orchestral work, Roller Coaster, which received its West Coast premiere under the baton of Marin Alsop in 2010 at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music while Shapiro was a composer in residence. He served for two years as the music consultant to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., where he produced and performed music by a number of composers who were either murdered by the Germans and their collaborators or had survived as refugees from the Third Reich. He has also been the assistant conductor at the Zurich Opera Studio.

Shapiro’s works, which span across all media, have been performed throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, with broadcasts of premieres on National Public Radio, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Israel Broadcasting Authority and WCBS-TV. His music has been characterized in a New York Times review as “possessing a rare melodic gift.” His oeuvre includes more than one hundred works for solo voice, piano, chamber ensembles, chorus, orchestra, as well as for opera, film, and television.

Shapiro has received awards and grants from Martha Baird Rockefeller Composer’s Assistance, Meet the Composer, the Henry Evans Traveling Fellowship of Columbia University, and the Boris Koutzen Memorial Fund. He has also received the Columbian Award and the Sigma Alpha Iota Composers Competition prize. He is the author of Jewish Pride and of The Jewish 100, which has been published in British, Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Bulgarian, Polish, and Romanian editions—in addition to its original American release.

Shapiro has collaborated with such artists as Teresa Stratas, Jose Ferrer, Janos Starker, Sir Malcolm Arnold, John Corigliano, Marin Alsop, Paul Shaffer, Sergiu Comissiona, Jerry Junkin, Eugene Drucker, Kim Cattrall, Tim Fain, Gottfried Wagner, Alexis Cole, Edward Arron, Jerome Rose, Mariko Anraku, Steven Beck, Elliott Forrest, John Fullam, Jose Ramos Santana, Clamma Dale, Anita Darian, Florence Levitt, Nina Berman, Kikuei Ikeda, Ayako Yoshida, Harris Poor, John Edward Niles, David Leibowitz, Robert Tomaro, Kathryn Amyotte, James Allen Anderson, Sarah McKoin, Albert Nguyen, Kenneth Collins, Jeffery Meyer, David Kehler, Alexandra Guerin, Christopher Lee Morehouse, Glen Hemberger, Anthony LaGruth, Matthew Thomas Troy, and Emily Wong, and organizations such as the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony Orchestra, Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, United States Navy Band, West Point Band's The Jazz Knights, Dallas Winds, Springfield Symphony Orchestra, Traverse Symphony Orchestra, New York Repertory Orchestra, Beloit-Janesville Symphony, Dragefjetts Musikkorps, Royal Canadian Air Force Band, St. Petersburg (Russia) Chamber Philharmonic, Garden State Philharmonic, Opera Theatre of Northern Virginia, Piedmont Wind Symphony, Westchester Concert Singers, International Opera Center at the Zurich Opera, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, American Jewish Committee, Hawthorne String Quartet, Locrian Chamber Ensemble, Amernet String Quartet, Artemis, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, Bergen International Festival, and Dateline NBC, and universities in New York, Louisiana, Ohio, Delaware, Florida, Texas, Nebraska, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Arizona, Georgia, and Tennessee.

Minnita Daniel-Cox

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Othalie Graham

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Sixteen Acres

Sixteen Acres is a neighborhood in Springfield, Massachusetts. Much of the neighborhood was constructed after World War II and is suburban in character.Sixteen Acres includes Western New England University, the SABIS International High School, Pioneer Valley Christian Academy, and the 18-hole, Veterans Memorial Golf Course. Besides streets of newer ranches, colonials, split-levels, and capes, the neighborhood has large condominium complexes on Nassau Drive. Sixteen Acres also features the 28-acre (11 ha) Greenleaf Park, a recently expanded branch library, and two private beach clubs (Bass Pond and the Paddle Club). Commercial clusters on Wilbraham Road and Allen Street provide convenient shopping, including the recently opened Fresh Acres Market.

Sixteen Acres residents have a quick drive to East Longmeadow's employers, such as Hasbro and American Saw, as well as a short drive up Parker Street to the Massachusetts Turnpike.In the early 1900s Theodore Granger (Granger Street) bought a parcel of land which was 16 acres in size in pursuit of his dream to become a farmer. Unfortunately his skills at farming were less than his skills as a carpenter and the farm did not thrive but parcels of land were given to family members and also sold.

Springfield, Massachusetts

Springfield is a city in the state of Massachusetts, United States, and the seat of Hampden County. Springfield sits on the eastern bank of the Connecticut River near its confluence with three rivers: the western Westfield River, the eastern Chicopee River, and the eastern Mill River. As of the 2010 Census, the city's population was 153,060. As of 2017, the estimated population was 154,758, making it the third-largest city in Massachusetts, the fourth-most populous city in New England after Boston, Worcester, and Providence, and the 12th-most populous in the Northeastern United States. Metropolitan Springfield, as one of two metropolitan areas in Massachusetts (the other being Greater Boston), had a population of 692,942 as of 2010.The first Springfield in the New World, during the American Revolution, George Washington designated it as the site of the Springfield Armory for its central location, subsequently the site of Shays' Rebellion. The city would also play a pivotal role in the Civil War, as a major stop on the Underground Railroad and home of abolitionist John Brown, best known for his raid on Harpers Ferry, and for the Armory's manufacture of the famed "Springfield rifles" used ubiquitously by Union troops. Closing during the Johnson administration, today the national park historic site features the largest collection of historic American firearms in the world. Today the city is the largest in western New England, and the urban, economic, and media capital of Massachusetts' section of the Connecticut River Valley, colloquially known as the Pioneer Valley.

Springfield has several nicknames – "The City of Firsts", due to the many innovations developed there, such as the first American dictionary, the first American gas-powered automobile, and the first machining lathe for interchangeable parts; "The City of Homes", due to its Victorian residential architecture; and "Hoop City", as basketball – one of the world's most popular sports – was invented in Springfield in 1891 by James Naismith.

Hartford, the capital of Connecticut, lies 24 miles (39 km) south of Springfield, on the western bank of the Connecticut River. The Hartford-Springfield region is known as the Knowledge Corridor because it hosts over 160,000 university students and over 32 universities and liberal arts colleges – the second-highest concentration of higher-learning institutions in the United States. The city of Springfield itself is home to Springfield College, Western New England University, American International College, and Springfield Technical Community College, among other higher educational institutions.

Springfield Municipal Group

The Municipal Group of Springfield, Massachusetts is a collection of three prominent municipal buildings in the city's Metro Center district. Consisting of a concert hall, City Hall, and a 300-foot-tall (91 m) clocktower, the Group is a center of government and culture in the city.

The Municipal Complex's architecture is a notable example of the City Beautiful style made popular by Daniel Burnham, an architect from Chicago, Illinois, in the early 20th century.

Symbols of Springfield, Massachusetts

The City of Springfield, Massachusetts has two official symbols, and is also often represented by depictions of the Municipal Group as a de facto emblem of its government.

The Garden of Martyrs

The Garden of Martyrs is an opera in three acts by the American composer Eric Sawyer with libretto by Harley Erdman. It is based on the novel by Michael C. White. The opera is drawn from an historical event, covering the last days of Dominic Daley and James Halligan, Irish Catholic immigrants who were tried and executed in Northampton, Massachusetts in 1806 for the murder of Marcus Lyon.

The opera has a modern resonance of the story’s theme of “immigration to America and the difficulty and suspicion with which newcomers are greeted.”

The Garden of Martyrs musically dramatizes the last five days of the men’s lives. The protagonist is Father Jean Cheverus, a French immigrant priest who travels from Boston to Northampton to comfort the men—even though he believes them guilty. Cheverus’ journey of transformation is the heart of the opera.

Violin Concerto (Rorem)

The Violin Concerto is a composition for solo violin and chamber orchestra by the American composer Ned Rorem. The work was commissioned by the Springfield Symphony Orchestra for the violinist Jaime Laredo and composed in 1984. It was first performed by Laredo and the Springfield Symphony Orchestra conducted by Robert Gutter in the Symphony Hall, Springfield, on March 30, 1985.

Virgil Boutellis-Taft

Virgil Boutellis-Taft is a French violinist on the international scene.

Orchestras based in Massachusetts

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