The mission of the Cincinnati Community Orchestra Association is to provide a continuing musical experience to adult professional, amateur, and advanced student musicians from the greater Cincinnati area in the spirit of music as a lifetime avocation. Under the baton of a competent conductor, members experience orchestral music through rehearsals and public performances while enriching the culture of the community.
The Cincinnati Community Orchestra has more than 80 amateur and professional musicians who represent many occupations, professions, and ages, rehearsing once each week from September to May. Throughout its long history the orchestra has adhered to a tradition of performing a broad range of works representing composers of all eras in music. The opportunity to perform and to hear orchestral music in a live musical environment is truly rewarding to audience and performer.
The Cincinnati Community Orchestra grew from the closing chords of an earlier ensemble called the Jewish Community Center Orchestra (late 1933 to early 1952). That orchestra performed the first of 39 concerts on March 15, 1934. Its last performance was in April 1951. All but two of those concerts were conducted by Nicholas Gabor. It disbanded shortly after that last performance, but through the efforts of two members of that ensemble – Jack and Joyce VanWye – and after some intermediate organized chamber music activities, our “new” Cincinnati Community Orchestra was formed and began its first season with rehearsals in the fall of 1954 and a concert on May 15, 1955.
CCO’s 50+ seasons have involved eight regular conductors and ten one-time guest conductors. Although board and membership input is solicited, the planning of repertoire has always been the exclusive prerogative of these conductors. Cincinnati’s rich base of cultural life has made the availability of qualified and desirable soloists plentiful. Artists from the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the College-conservatory of Music, and area churches have eagerly served as invited soloists. Thus throughout it’s 50+ seasons CCO has spotlighted 27 singers, 27 pianists, 2 organists, 36 string players, 15 woodwind players, 11 brass players, 2 percussionists, 11 choirs, 2 young string groups, 2 dance troupes, 3 narrators, an artist, and even some actors and circus performers. Many of CCO’s regular members have also served in various solo roles. CCO maintains a constant weekly rehearsal schedule (always on Mondays). Its rehearsal and concert schedules have taken it to 40 venues in every corner of the greater Cincinnati area.