The first time I ever saw the BSO was from a performance on CATS. I wondered who they were...when I found out it was Bloomington's own community orchestra, I couldn't believe it. They were so much better than any community orchestra I'd ever heard. Several years ago I auditioned for the second violins. Suffice it to say, I've never looked back. I have never been so impressed with a nonprofit's musical direction, choice of repertoire, dedication, congenial spirit, contribution to the community, and level of excellence. I have seen Maestro Latshaw make music accessible to untrained listeners, volunteers give all they have and more, participated in "side-by-side" concerts with budding high school musicians, children's smiles at the "meet the instruments" program, etc. None of the eight Indiana University Orchestras, the POPS or Camerata (to my knowledge) do these things. Plus, the BSO affords those of us for whom music is an avocation the best possible orchestra opportunities in a town where there would otherwise be very few. I thank my lucky stars for the BSO!
I have performed alongside the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra several times as a fill-in and was amazed each time at the level of musicianship and passion involved! Rehearsals (and concerts) have a clear structure and the musicians are focused on the end goal of delivering a great concert to the public. Their children's concert was brilliantly delivered, had an outstanding turn-out, and, best of all, gave dozens of kids the opportunity to have invaluable one-on-one learning experiences with the instruments! This is one community group that unites to perform their best and deliver enlightening, educational, and enriching concerts to members of the community.
I am a professor of nonprofit management at the top ranked (US News) program in the country. It is also my pleasure to donate to the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra and to serve as their sometime consultant on governance and strategic planning. I also helped paint their office!! In the end, this is a great volunteer-driven organization with a terrific artistic director, an energetic board and volunteer cohort, who produce amazing concerts. If you attended their Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique last month, your hair would still be standing on end. Go, BSO!!
The BSO provides unparalleled entertainment as well as educational opportunities. From the musicians and director to the board members, talent and dedication abounds at the BSO. Few other cities can boast of such a well run, talented, and positive organization.
I have been playing violin in The Bloomington Symphony for many years and have experienced its influence on the community first hand. Of special value is its exposure and hands-on experience of music to children. But audiences too get to a treat, not only by listening, but gaining fascinating backgrounds to the music they hear and in an entertaining format. For the musicians it is a wonderful chance to make music, to involve family and friends. The Bloomington Symphony is a true intergenerational community, a celebration of sharing, among one another and with the community.
Donna told my story. Word for word. I could not have said it more eloquently.
The BSO is a premier example of the rich culture of the Arts in Bloomington, Indiana. From the orchestra's masterful performances to the educational programs for the community's youth, every city should be so lucky!
For many years the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra has provided accessible concerts with a lovely combination of the classic and the challenging. Living in the shadow of an internationally known school of music, the BSO plays an essential role in reaching out to the non-university-affiliated and in working with high school students to help them see how to keep music in their lives. In recent years, the concerts have been especially engaging and informative. The collaborations with other arts organizations, the players' enthusiasm for their conductor, and the great music they make together have been a truly wonderful gift from the orchestra to the community.
The Bloomington Symphony Orchestra provides the opportunity for both amateurs and professionals to share in the glorious art of music making. There is something for everyone at every concert, and usually some surprises along the way. A great group of people conducted by the talented and fun-loving Charles Latshaw.
The Bloomington Symphony Orchestra offers a rich and supportive outlet for amateur musicians to join together and share their talents, but it provides a much broader series of meaningful services for the local community. In my time with the orchestra, first as a volunteer musician and now as a board member, I've been able to take part in a series of remarkable musical musical events, from tackling monumental works in the standard classical repertoire--i.e., Mahler's first symphony--to introducing stringed instruments to children at an event designed to let kids "Meet the Instruments." Without deviating from its core mission of creating a space for musicians in the community to gather and perform, the BSO supports a series of educational and arts advocacy programs. For example, the orchestra maintains a collection of instruments that it repairs and loans to you musicians in Bloomington, it regularly collaborates with community artists and arts organizations, and it presents a free annual children's concert. Plus, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the incredibly dedicated, dynamic, and welcoming people who the make the orchestra special. The BSO is truly a gem.
Bloomington Symphony Orchestra is a wonderful organization that has provided a fantasitc opportunity for personal and musical growth. This has been the first orchestra I have joined since college, and I am very proud to be a member.
The Bloomington Symphony Orchestra is an inclusive group that provides great music to Bloomington! The BSO has unbounded passion for music and camaraderie that brings Bloomington and Monroe County musicians of all ages and professions together.
The Bloomington Symphony Orchestra has been able to build a phenomenal sense of community - not only through its performances, but also through outreach programs like the Children's Instrument Recovery Program (ChIRP), side-by-side concerts with local schools, a youth concerto competition, and Meet the Instruments (where school kids get to try out the different instruments of the orchestra). Volunteers and audience members all agree that the BSO is something special in our community, and I'm very proud to say I've been a volunteer with this organization for the past 15 years. There really is something special about the BSO.
The BSO is a wonderful organization. It's dedicated to bring music to the world, and it is a huge benefit to the whole community. It's a place for people to play music with one another, and a way for those who don't play instruments to learn about music. I am very proud to be associated with the BSO.
Wonderful music, wonderful people, wonderful experience for all who get to hear Bloomington Symphony play the programs they perform for Bloomington, Monroe County and surrounding areas. Small groups from the Symphony also bring performances to retirement communities for those who can't attend the entire Symphony performances. The small groups bring a special treat to all who get to hear them play. They are all very special people and performers. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Bloomington Symphony is an unique, and extraordinary musical group. Our conductor leads and rehearses us in a way which brings us to a higher level than we have ever played. Because he believes we can and cheerfully challenges us, we accomplish an incredible concert every single time. The results are remarkable because most of us play well, but very few of us can claim professional status. Our results are the most professional of any community orchestra I've ever seen. We play for the joy of performing such wonderful pieces. We also often have students from different parts of the world. I have shared a stand with Russian, Chinese and German cellists and it has always enriched me. It is a fabulous group with which to perform.
I love playing in the Bloomington Symphony. It is a great group of people that make everybody feel welcome. Everybody gives their best and it results in some great music. I really enjoy that in the concerts the background given about the pieces is for everybody and not just classical music snobs.
There are many great things you can say about the BSO: its broad repertoire, its high level of technical skill, and its professionalism in performance, to name a few. However, my favorite part of the orchestra is its heart. From the energy of the performances to their community outreach, the BSO brings a level of passion and personality that demonstrates that these musicians consider the group to be much more than a simple organization. I highly recommend that the community continued to attend its fantastic concerts, and that any interested musicians join! Ever since I moved away from Bloomington I have missed the BSO dearly.
It was my pleasure to have served the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra as first a Stage Manager and then as General Manager. In these capacities I witnessed firsthand the dedication of each of the volunteer musicians and board members. Not only do these musicians provide exquisite music for the residents of Bloomington at affordable concerts, they provide a free concert in the park for every citizen that chooses to experience a live symphony that they would otherwise not have the opportunity to enjoy. These concerts have been so successful that after a year experimentation of moving it to a more intimate location the city’s parks department chose to move it back to a larger location to accommodate all of the people that bring their whole families to enjoy the music in the park.
Additionally, this volunteer organization receives donated instruments, rehabilitates them and provides them to children along with lessons given for free by dedicated musicians. These children would have little to no ability to rent instruments or pay for lessons in their communities.
Furthering this mission the BSO, as it is fondly referred to, conducts “side by side” concerts in which children from the local schools play side by side with the orchestra members, providing them with an experience that they may never forget and inspires them. Not least the BSO provides a small prize to a local child who shows talent and dedication with their instrument of choice. Perhaps most notably a very young Joshua Bell was awarded this prize many years ago.
I reiterate that this is a volunteer orchestra, with musicians that are professional as well as those who have other careers yet play at a professional level. It is, in my opinion, a shining example of volunteerism in the arts community.
Having served both as a player and a member of the Board of Directors, I have been privileged to participate in different capacities with this outstanding community orchestra. Composed of professionals and accomplished amateur players, the BSO has consistently performed at a high level since I first joined the group in the late 1980s. Most recently, under the guidance of Charles Latshaw, this remarkable group has expanded its repertoire and provided thoroughly enjoyable concerts. Bloomington is fortunate to have such a dedicated and gifted group of people who enjoy sharing their talents with the community.
The BSO is an amazing group of hard-working musicians with an inspiring, motivating conductor who pushes the group to be more, musically speaking. Many people work diligently behind the scenes to allow the group to do what it does and to promote their efforts in the community.
The Bloomington Symphony Orchestra has become an inspiring organization. Players in the orchestra are primarily community volunteers practicing as a group only once a week normally. And it has presented some amazing performances. It is an enriching experience for me to be able to perform with the orchestra. Bloomington is full of extremely accomplished musicians since it is home to the IU Jacobs School of Music. So having a community based orchestra provides those of us that can play reasonably well a way of continuing our musical pursuits in a meaningful and rewarding way. The current musical director, Charles Latshaw, has inspired us all to play to the very best of our potential. And as each performance passes with success, that potential rises a little. The BSO is an organization that can proudly represent Bloomington
The Bloomington Symphony Orchestra has changed my life. I play with the orchestra, support it financially, serve on the board and promote it every chance I get, because I love this group and am incredibly grateful for the many gifts it gives me. Our Music Director is a constant source of inspiration - he brings a depth of understand and sheer joy for the music that I've never seen anywhere else. He loves Mahler, Tchiakovsky, Beethoven, Ravel...all the greats, and he makes us love them too. I've been involved in other non-profits before, but this is the first one that has reached me in such a profound way. Music has become the single biggest joy in my life, and it's thanks to this orchestra that I can finally acknowledge that.
It is amazing what this orchestra accomplishes even though it is entirely populated with volunteers. They have themed repertoires for each performance and meld together both familiar and unfamiliar pieces for each one. For instance of their current season their first performance was called "Brasstissimo (ma non troppo)" and featured Respighi's "Pines of Rome," Borodin's "Symphony #2" and Glinka's "Overture to Russlan and Ludmilla". Remember, these are VOLUNTEERS playing this! The orchestra also does a free children's concert around Christmas and during the summer to introduce music to a wide audience. They also team up with local area high schools for a performance with the high schools' orchestras. Finally you do not want to miss the current conductor; he is a joy to watch and he always tries to do a bit of instruction in order to enhance your experience of the music. This volunteer orchestra is worth your time and money to go hear. For a full disclosure: I went to the performances of the BSO before I volunteered for them.