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The Gary Civic Symphony Orchestra

Welcomes You!
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Gary's own - The Gary Civic Symphony Orchestra - is the official professional community symphony orchestra of Gary, Indiana. We take great pride in both labels, "Professional" and "Community". We strive to always provide "great" listening and viewing for our audiences. And, with the support of our Sponsor - The Gary Historical & Cultural Society, Inc. - our many and varied community programs make "live" listening and viewing an enjoyable experience for audiences of all ages and types.

The Gary Civic Symphony Orchestra began back in the mid -1970s as a musical ensemble of friends who wanted to fill the cultural void left in Gary, Indiana when the original symphony left. We played for teas, for receptions, for Church events, for dinners, and usually for "free" (smiles). As our reputation and number of musicians grew, we decided that it was time to perform a major concert.
 
So, under the baton of the late Bessye Tatum, we premiered our first major concert in Gary in 1982. The site was the new Genesis Convention Center, which was developed during the administration of Mayor Richard G. Hatcher. Mayor Hatcher also found resources that enabled us to purchase orchestra equipment and a symphonic repertoire.
 
In the mid 1980s, we began taking the Symphony to other cities. Our concerts in Washington, D.C. on the Capitol steps, on the White House lawn, and in the Martin Luther King Center were historic "firsts" for us and others.
 
Today, the Gary Civic Symphony Orchestra, or any of its ensembles and our jazz orchestra will travel at home and abroad to share our music with others.

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Gary Civic Symphony Orchestra

After this 1982 concert, GCSO added an annual Christmas Season dinner concert in 1984, and an annual children's concert in 1985, co-sponsored with the Gary Community School Corporation. Later, we began annual concerts in February to pay tribute to "African American musicians and composers".  In 2005, we initiated the area's first "Do It Yourself MESSIAH", which will become another of our annual musical events.  And
in 2006, we performed the first concert of our new "GCSO Jazz Orchestra".
 
We perform all of these concerts each year to the delight of audiences of all ages and descriptions. In addition to our major concerts, the string, wind and brass ensembles regularly perform throughout Gary, Chicago (IL), and the Lake County, IN region.

GCSO Conductor: EDWIN CARTER
GCSO Jazz Orchestra Conductor: RON PICKETT
GCSO Manager: NAOMI MILLENDER
GCSO Assistant Manager: VANESSA NICHOLS
GCSO Concert Master: DAVID L. HOWARD
GCSO Music Arrangers: BURGESS GARDNER and MICHAEL CARSON
GCSO Librarians: ANDRIEL HILLER and AARON ZEMELKO
String Clinic Instructors: KAROB JACKSON and JOHN SIMONS
Special Events Coordinator: MARGUERITE EDWARDS
GCSO Business Manager: RAY THOMAS
GCSO Production Coordinator: EDWARD WILKERSON, JR.
 
Our GHCS Founder and Sponsor:
DHARATHULA "Dolly", CEO (unpaid)
Gary Historical & Cultural Society, Inc.