The Salem Philharmonic Orchestra is pleased to present its 2016 season. For over 100 years, the City of Salem has had the good fortune to have an annual series of free winter concerts presented by the SPO. The orchestra consists primarily of professional musicians drawn directly from Salem and surrounding communities, and also invites talented students to play alongside its professionals for an experience that is nearly impossible to find anywhere else in the area. Programming covers a wide range of musical genres – from classic overtures, to show tunes, to newly commissioned compositions by local composers. Every concert features one or more soloists, often young musicians who have never had the opportunity to work with an orchestra, or a talented professional whose talents should be better known. This year we are delighted to welcome soprano Carla Maniscalco-Giovinco on January 10, along with the Salem High School Orchestra. On January 24 Armin Bushi will play Wienawski’s second violin concerto. Franklin Mosley, Bass-Baritione, will appear on January 30, and the season’s final soloist will be flutist Judy Braude performing Griffes’ Poem. That concert will also feature the Salem Philharmonic’s own youth orchestra.
The concert series this year will consist of three performances during the month of January and one in February. The orchestra does not charge admission, and in this regard, the concert series is possible the oldest ongoing free concert series in the United States. Our supporters are as diverse as our audience: the SPO has been sponsored by the Salem Trust Fund Commission, The Music Performance Trust Fund of New York, the Salem Cultural Council, area businesses, especially Salem Five Bank, and individual supporters.
John Koza is the conductor of the Salem Philharmonic Orchestra. John is a clarinetist, teacher and conductor from Beverly, Ma. Born and raised in Salem, Mr. Koza received a Bachelor of Music Degree in music education and music theory and composition from University of Massachusetts at Lowell. In addition to performing throughout the Boston area, he has played for most of the orchestras and choruses on the North Shore. After serving as a clarinetist in the Salem Philharmonic Orchestra since 1976, Mr. Koza was named music director of the orchestra beginning with the 2015 season. He is also the assistant conductor of the Salem Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, under SPO conductor emeritus Alan Hawryluk
These concerts are a wonderful Sunday afternoon activity, free of charge, during the darkest months of the year, at which time many arts organizations are not actively performing. Our senior citizens, attend in great numbers, but our audience also consists of many families, who not only appreciate the free admission, but also know that the atmosphere of the concerts is such that children are always welcome. Over the years, the orchestra has grown in popularity to occasional standing room only crowds at the Salem High School Auditorium, where we regularly draw over 500 attendees. Audiences gather at the auditorium entrance some 30-45 minutes before each concert waiting for the orchestra to finish its final run-through in order to get a good seat.