It is the mission of our orchestra to inspire, educate, entertain and involve the children, youth and adults of our community in the enjoyment of great music.
History of the Plano Symphony
Established as the Plano Chamber Orchestra in 1983, the Plano Symphony Orchestra Association is a non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) Texas corporation with responsibility for governance vested in a Board of Directors elected by the corporation membership. In 1984, the Board of Directors established a volunteer committee, the Plano Symphony Guild, to assist in attaining its goals and purposes. The Guild also provides leadership for a teen concert services group, APPLAUSE. In addition, many other volunteers and interns share time and skills to assist the orchestra in carrying out its programs. In 1993, an Advisory Council of symphony and civic leaders was established to provide input on issues affecting the future of the Plano Symphony. In 2003-04 the Guild established a Symphony Debutante Program of activities for young women and their parents centered around symphony concerts and volunteer activities. Participation in this program brings in financial resources for the symphony in addition to building new audiences.
Plano Symphony has a history of gradual expansion in its offerings, building from three concerts in 1983-84, to over 25 concerts and over 100 solo, ensemble, and educational appearances yearly. By expanding gradually, the orchestra has been able to build artistic excellence as well as maintain fiscal responsibility.
The Plano Symphony has an appropriate venue for concerts at the 1550 seat Eisemann Center. Excellent acoustics, orchestra shell, stage space, attractive and spacious lobby and comfortable seats all make this hall a beautiful venue for musicians, artists, and audience. This venue allows for expansion of the string section and opportunities to collaborate with choirs and dance. St. Andrew United Methodist Church in Plano, known for its incredible acoustics, is the alternate venue, booked when the Eisemann is not available. This venue also seats 1550, so all subscribers can be accommodated on one performance. When the Arts Hall of Collin County opens, the Plano Symphony will move its performances to that 2100 seat hall. Smaller concerts and Family Series concerts have been held in the City of Plano’s Courtyard Theatre seating just over 300.
The Plano Symphony offers a comprehensive program for all Plano, Frisco, Lewisville, and Wylie fourth graders and private school and home-schooled children. A concert is designed by the SymphonyExecutive Director, Director of Education and the PISD fine arts director using the Texas fourth grade curriculum. A PowerPoint presentation of lesson plans and music are provided to each school so the music specialist can familiarize the students with musical and rhythmic ideas, the composers, etc. Prior to the concert, an orchestra musician visits the classrooms so that children experience an up-close and personal instrumental demonstration and learn about professional arts. In addition, many schools book the Instrument Petting Zoo—a collection of real instruments children can pick up and handle—a program available at no charge to the school or other groups. Another popular request is for the “Bear Hunt” educational program also provided at no charge to our community.
The Plano Symphony has chosen to be a professional orchestra with compensated artistic and management personnel and has sought to attain its high artistic standards through solid institutional planning and faithful adherence to principles of sound non-profit management.