History

The Cincinnati Community Orchestra was founded in 1954 by a small group of ensemble players that were former members of the disbanded Jewish Community Orchestra. Hilbert Mosher, a horn player in the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, was the orchestra’s first conductor.


Our Conductors
Hilbert D. Mosher
1955-1956
Nicholas Gabor
1957-1960
Sigmund Effron
1961
James Riley
1961-1963
Erik Kahlson
1963-1966
Herman Slayman
1966
Conny Kiradjieff
1967-1982
Gerald R. Doan
1982 – 2017
Largely through the efforts of personnel director and French Hornist Joyce Van Wye and her husband Jack, a bassonist, the orchestra steadily began to grow. Rehearsals were held on Monday nights at the First Unitarian Church which sponsored the orchestra along with the Local No. 1 Musicians Union. During its first few years of existence, concerts were also held at the church.


Through the years, the Cincinnati Community Orchestra continued to grow to a membership of approximately 85. After a variety of conductors led the orchestra through its first 13 seasons, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra violinist Conny Kiradjieff assumed the role of Conductor/Music Director at the beginning of the 1967 season, a role he held until Dr. Gerald R. Doan took over in 1982. During Mr. Kiradjieff’s tenure with the CCO, the orchestra had the opportunity to play with nationally renowned sololists including mega star Kathleen Battle, violinist and CSO concertmaster Phillip Ruder, CSO principal trumpet Philip Collins, and cellist Peter Wiley.


When the reigns of the orchestra were handed over to Dr. Doan during the 1982-1983 season, the orchestra continued to flourish and innovate. The CCO performed the first costumed Halloween concert in 1987, when Dr. Doan was carried to the podium in a coffin while guest pianist Elizabeth Pridonoff played Totentanz by Liszt. The CCO was also the first local orchestra to secure Cincinnati Enquirer cartoonist Jim Borgman as a guest soloist. Mr. Borgman drew caricatures for the audience while the orchestra performed Carnival of the Animals by Saint-Saens. Also on the list of guest artists were other highly sought after soloists such as Kurt Sassmannshaus, Lenore Hatfield, and Marian Spelman.


Dr. Doan retired after the 2016-2017 season and was named Music Director Emeritus by the CCO Board. The 2017-2018 season will be dedicated to the search for the CCO’s 9th Conductor and Music Director with guest conductors auditioning at each of the 4 concerts. We hope that our next conductor will build upon Dr. Doan’s legacy with the CCO and help us to create beautiful music in the future.