History

The Bloomington Symphony Orchestra’s mission is to enrich the lives of our audiences and musicians with outstanding performances of challenging, educational, and thoughtfully selected orchestral repertoire. We work to accomplish this mission in three ways:
 
  1. By performing a wide variety of orchestral literature for concert-goers of all ages and backgrounds.
  2. By providing an organization for qualified musicians to develop their talents.
  3. By supporting music education through partnership performances with the Minnesota String and Orchestra Teachers Association and the Bloomington Public Schools.
The Bloomington Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1963 by the City of Bloomington, to provide orchestral music for Bloomington’s citizens and as an organization where area instrumentalists could develop their musical skills. The founders were the City of Bloomington’s Parks & Recreation Director Gene Kelly and nationally renowned jazz musician Paul W. “Doc” Evans, who served as Music Director until 1977. Notable Music Directors since then have included Steven Amundson, William LaRue Jones, Akira Mori. The BSO has been under the baton of Music Director and conductor Manny Laureano since 2013.
 
The BSO is made up of talented amateur and freelance professional musicians who are selected by competitive audition. The Orchestra presents 4-5 classical programs each season, and features instrumental soloists including competition-winning students, outstanding area college/university faculty and members of the Minnesota Orchestra and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.
 
The BSO performs an annual concert at the Lake Normandale Bandshell, as part of the City of Bloomington’s Arts in the Park series. Every other year, the BSO performs at the City’s July 3 Summer Fete celebration. These summer programs feature light classics, motion picture music and showtunes.
 
The BSO is a Minnesota non-profit corporation with the Section 501(C)(3) designation from the IRS.
 
The BSO is funded by corporate and private donors, fund-raisers, dues from member-musicians, and an Arts Grant from the City of Bloomington. The orchestra is administered by a Board of Directors which includes both musician-members and community members.
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