• By: Marie Waine

Ottawa Symphony Orchestra: 50 Years Young

The Ottawa Symphony Orchestra is gearing up to start its 50th season on a high note. The OSO announced its milestone anniversary line-up at the final concert of its 2013-2014 season. The upcoming five concert series will showcase talents ranging from local composers to Juno award winners–sure to be music to everyone’s ears.

Musical Director David Currie chooses the selection of pieces for each season. This season, each night will focus around a different theme, hoping to attract a lively and youthful audience while maintaining the dedicated following it has.

“Some of the pieces we are featuring are a little more vibrant and light,” says Christine Séguine, marketing coordinator for the OSO. “We are looking to attract those general art lovers and music lovers in the community.”

logo.jpegThe OSO is not only busy promoting its anniversary selection of performances, but the orchestra recently launched a new logo to welcome the milestone. The new logo complements the harmonious unison of contemporary and classic imagery–something the orchestra always strives for. The orchestra prides itself on its ability to introduce world-premiere pieces alongside classic programming.

To keep up with its image, the expectations of musicians continue to grow. “It used to be an orchestra with a mix of professionals and amateurs, and we are now fully professional,” says Alana Gralen, general manager of the OSO. “The musicians are all members of the American Federation of Musicians and must all pass a rigorous audition process to win a spot in the orchestra.”

With the new logo and vivacious performances all ready, the OSO is excited to kick off its 50th season. “We are looking forward to featuring the musicians. We can’t wait to put a real spotlight on how long the orchestra has been together and how important these musicians are to the orchestra,” says Séguine.

A82J6151Some of these talents include Juno award winning violinist Alexandre Da Costa, Ottawa composer Kelly-Marie Murphy, Canadian tenor Gordon Gietz and performances with the Ottawa Youth Orchestra and the Ottawa Choral Society.

The Ottawa Choral Society will close the 50th season with as big of a bang as it kicks off. “With the Choral Society and the orchestra on the stage there ends up being 100 people. It ends up making this huge sound, just filling the space and it’s beautiful,” says Séguine. This will be the third season the Ottawa Choral Society joins up with the orchestra.

The OSO is the National Capital Region’s only full-size orchestra and is a large part of the Ottawa community. The orchestra plays a very active role in engaging youth with music. The Mentorship Program allows, “university students to audition for the orchestra and gain valuable experience while playing with and being mentored by our more experienced musicians,” says Gralen. “It is something that is truly unique about the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra and so something to be celebrated.”

Other community engagement initiatives include student discount tickets, the elementary school program Symphony for Schools and open rehearsals for children to learn about instruments and hear a sneak peak of a performance.

For more information about the 50th anniversary season and to purchase tickets, visit the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra.