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Our Mission and History
Founded in 1995 by conductor Hisao Watanabe and a group of dedicated professional musicians and supporters, the Lexington Symphony maintains a grass-roots community spirit while producing high-quality performances that attract an ever-growing audience from Lexington and surrounds. The orchestra regularly fills 800-seat Cary Hall and now presents six concerts each year led by conductor Jonathan McPhee.
Passionate about educating the next generation about classical music, the Symphony presents a biennial workshop and concert for children, as well as an educational outreach program for third and fourth graders, Orchestrating Kids Through Classics™, both of which have received accolades from parents, kids, and teachers alike. Working to make classical music accessible to all, Lexington Symphony offers outreach programs that serve all ages, provides tickets at affordable prices, and presents exciting concert experiences that audiences love. Orchestra members work with community members in all aspects of the organization, and it is this energetic collaboration between musicians, community, and conductor that makes Lexington Symphony special.
Music Director Jonathan McPhee, who joined the orchestra in 2005, is one of the leading musical figures in New England. Each Saturday night concert is preceded by a conductor’s talk by Maestro McPhee that combines musical examples with biographical information. These talks enhance the listening experience by looking behind the pieces to be performed and retracing the composers’ thoughts. This year, Lexington Symphony musicians will host a Q&A before the June 8th Concert in the Round.
Connecting to the community is at the heart of Lexington Symphony’s mission and approach. The orchestra has been recognized for its community outreach efforts with the following awards:
2010 Music Advocate Award: Presented by the Massachusetts Music Educators Association (MMEA), a group of 1,700 educators in Massachusetts and the federated state unit of the National Association for Music Education (MENC), this prestigious award is given to an individual, organization, or community leader who exemplifies the MMEA mission of demonstrating advocacy for music education in the schools of Massachusetts through a financial commitment to music education and whose actions have led to improvements in curriculum, budget, or enrollment in the music program. Lexington Symphony was specifically recognized for its work with elementary schools in Lawrence.
2009 Lexington Chamber of Commerce Award: The Symphony’s Holiday Pops concert was recognized as the “Best New Initiative in Support of Town Businesses”
2006 Nonprofit Net Award: The Symphony was recognized for ”Forward-Looking Vision and Exemplary and Enduring Contribution to Our Community”