History of the Beach Cities Symphony

A Letter by Bob Peterson - November 2001

Bob Peterson receive certificateThe beginning of our 52nd season brings fond memories of the founding of our orchestra.  I remember the beginnings of seasons in times of short funding and small attendance at rehearsals.  Some of us might remember less than 25 instrumentalists at a season’s first rehearsal.  This year there were nearly 60 in attendance!  I personally remember having seasons beginning with less than $1,000 in the bank and starting the year primarily on the hope and faith that we would make it through.  This orchestra has always had supporters like you who helped make it a success.


Early in the 1950s we performed at Redondo High School’s old auditorium and then, after Mira Costa High School was built, we moved to their new auditorium.  In 1968, when the Marsee Auditorium was opened at El Camino Community College, our symphony became the first symphony orchestra to present a concert on this stage.  We were very privileged and later, when the Los Angeles Philharmonic came to perform here, I talked to musicians who commented on how much they liked the beautiful hall.  Other world famous orchestras have performed on this stage, a wonderful addition to the community.


When the Beach Cities Symphony performed a concert in the 1960s at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion under the baton of then Music Director and Conductor, Louis J. Palange, we noticed the most wonderful feeling of ensemble due to the acoustics of the stage, and we felt the aura of performing where the L.A. Philharmonic does.  We think highly of our venue here and love it dearly, but it was a thrill for us to be at the Chandler.


In all the years of different conductors, each gave the orchestra a personal sound and quality.  Conductor Barry Brisk does this with verve, talent and diplomacy, and we are grateful for his years of leadership.  You, the supporting audiences, have made the Beach Cities Symphony a success.  Our goal is to continue presenting free concerts for the community’s enjoyment and appreciation.  For me, personally, it is a great opportunity to perform beautiful music with excellent artist friends who share the same love of music and bring you tonight’s concert.  I thank the Beach Cities Symphony for all the beauty it has brought into my life.

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The Beach Cities Symphony Association is a non-profit organization.

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