The Melrose Symphony is the oldest continuously performing volunteer orchestra in the United States.



The orchestra was founded in 1918 by a dedicated group of citizens led by Frank B. Gray and Harold A. Sewall. They asked Elmer Wilson to become the first conductor. Mr. Wilson led the thirteen players who attended the first rehearsal at the YMCA. Forty-five players participated in the first concert on December 10, 1918.


Conductors Past & Present

The Melrose Symphony's first conductor, Mr. Wilson, was followed by the distinguished conductor George Brown who led the orchestra for 32 years. Mr. Brown was followed by Jeronimas Kacinskas, David Sonneschein, William Maloof, Christopher Blair, and Peter Hazzard. In 1997, Yoichi Udagawa, was chosen to be the eighth music director of the Melrose Symphony.

Notable Guests & Soloists

During the MSO's long history, many illustrious names have appeared with the orchestra including Arthur Fiedler, actress Maureen O'Hara, cellist Martha Babcock, soprano Sharon Baker, jazz artist Gary Burton, baritone Robert Honeysucker, the West Point Chorus, the New Black Eagle Jazz Band, Boris Goldovsky, and guest conductor Gunther Schuller.



The mission of the Melrose Symphony is to give the citizens of Melrose and surrounding area an opportunity to participate in the joy of music. As the Melrose Symphony is in the 21st century, its success and vitality are a testament to the invaluable and enthusiastic support it receives from the community.