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.
|Hilbert D. Mosher||1955-1956|
|Gerald R. Doan||1982 – present|
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 continues to lead the orchestra into the 21st century, programming audience favorites and inviting talented guest artists such as Michael Davis, Frances Renzi and Lee Fiser. Making music is more fun for this orchestra than it has ever been!