A Brief History

In the fall of 1969, the Board of the brand-new Johnson City Symphony began raising funds, interest and enthusiasm for the support of a Symphony in Johnson City, TN. They felt, "With two colleges and a University, a constant influx of new people in industry and the professions and our own people, there is musical talent in Johnson City. We believe that the people in this community should have the opportunity to hear these talented musicians perform."

Since its organization, the orchestra has performed under nine conductors. They were: Mr. Gil Oxendine (1969-74); Dr. Lewis Songer and Mr. Richard Compton (Co-Directors 1974); Dr. James Marable (1974-82); Mr. Thomas Hinds (1982-83); Ms. Antonia Joy Wilson (1983-89); Mr. Lewis Dalvit (1989-2004); Mr. Thomas Stites (2006-08); Rob Seebacher (2008-Present).

The JCSO began with about 28 members and has grown into a 70 piece orchestra. From the charter members to the youngest members, all of our musicians share a genuine love and excitement for music and performing. Concertmaster Helen Bryenton commented, "One thing in particular strikes me anew every rehearsal: when I walk into the rehearsal room, I feel how much excitement all my fellow players have brought with them. These are people who wake up on Tuesday mornings saying to themselves, 'Wow! Tonight I get to go to rehearsal and play my violin, (or my cello, or my horn…)!'" The Johnson City Symphony enjoys performing and that comes through in each and every performance.