A Ferry Tale
Once upon a time there lived in the land of South Snohomish County a group of musicians who had no orchestra. Each week the conductor of the Bremerton Symphony, Robert Anderson, took them across Puget Sound to play their music in the land of the Navy Shipyard. But there came a day when Conductor Anderson resigned, and now the musicians were returning from their last Bremerton concert, wondering where they could find another orchestra. As the ferry rumbled along through the choppy Sound on this Sunday evening in March, 1962, they said to each other, “Why not a new symphony orchestra in South Snohomish County?”
In April, 1962, Cascade Symphony was incorporated under Washington State charter, and played its opening concert June 4 with a 60-member orchestra under Mr. Anderson’s baton.
The years flew by, and the orchestra grew and prospered. The quiet suburban area that saw the founding of Cascade Symphony seems now an imagined landscape… not even a freeway then. Today the Symphony serves a bustling area of over 150,000 people. Through the years, the Symphony has maintained its high musical standards. From its very beginning it became known for outstanding quality. During its first season, a picture of the orchestra appeared in a book by the president of Columbia Broadcasting System, distributed worldwide through the State Department, as an example of a growing community symphony movement. “Several musicians in that picture were still with the orchestra in 2011-12, its 50th-anniversary season.”
Since its beginning, orchestra members have been energized by rehearsals each Monday evening of the concert season. As the years passed, the musicians grew up, grew middle-aged, grew gray; their children were born and grandchildren arrived; their careers developed and vanished into retirement. In their changing lives, one aspect has remained constant — Monday evening is always “Cascade night.” Even as the nucleus of charter members has dwindled and new musicians have joined the ranks, the tradition continues.
The musicians of the Symphony have invested a lifetime of effort and a small fortune in training and instruments. During the concert season, each player contributes over 100 hours a year in weekly rehearsals. This adds up to a staggering total of 9,000 hours annually — donated by these many people to their community.
Today another generation listens to the music of the Cascade Symphony under the baton of Maestro Michael Miropolsky. We invite you to join us as we make memories for the next 50 years!
Wondering how our repertoire has changed in over 50 years?