Many of Central New York’s arts and culture institutions were heading into the final leg of their seasons when restrictions on large gatherings due to COVID-19 shut them down about a month ago.  Symphoria clearly counts on ticket sales and live audiences, but now musicians have nowhere to play but at home. 

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Central New York’s professional symphony orchestra, Symphoria, has hired a new executive director.  Dr. Pam Murchison previously served as both a musician and administrator for the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra. She says that experience both on stage and behind the scenes gives her a unique perspective.

Scott Willis / WAER News

A project that’s been a year in the making will culminate in about two weeks when 7th and 8th grade band students at Eagle Hill Middle School in Manlius perform a composition the whole school was invited to inspire.  Students worked with Band Director Terri Tallman and submitted essays, artwork, and musical melodies that reflected the theme “Beauty and Excellence.”  Symphoria’s principal pops conductor Sean O’Loughlin turned it into music.  He's also an experienced composer, and has worked with artists such as Adele, Kelly Clarkson, and Pentatonix.   O'Loughlin conducted the band students t

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Central New York native Lizzie Klemperer is embracing her return to Syracuse for her latest show.  She will be performing at Symphoria’s concert called A Night at the Oscars on Saturday.

I've been trying to get back to Syracuse to do a concert with Symphoria for several years now.  This is the first time it worked out with scheduling.  The concert is really's an Oscar-themed concert, everyone will be dressed up.  I hear there’s going to be a red carpet.”   / Symphoria

Musicians, singers, and dancers will once again fill the stage at the civic center this weekend for Symphoria’s Holiday Pops concerts. The symphony’s principal pops conductor described what’s new and how the program comes together. 

Sean O’Loughlin says he spent a week back in September crafting an arrangement that won’t be heard anywhere else.

 “Symphoria is playing music literally, this holiday season, that it’s the only place that you’ll hear it, including a new opening overture that I wrote called Holiday Wonder which captures the theme of our concerts.”

Jillian Honn / Symphoria's facebook page

Symphoria’s fifth season begins Friday evening after a full summer of performances, including a second fourth of July concert a the Lakeview Amphitheater.  The orchestra remains convinced that diversity in programming and venues is critical to their success.

Marc Ramos / Symphoria's facebook page

Symphoria is looking ahead to another successful season even though the current slate of performances doesn’t wrap up for another month. The orchestra is planning a variety of music at a range of venues in hopes of appealing to a broader audience.

From masterworks and pops…to kids, casual, and spark concerts, managing director Catherine Underhill says there’s likely to be something for everyone when the new season opens in September.  She feels it’s part of their mission to provide an opportunity to take in live music.

Cirque de la Symphonie Returns to Syracuse to Perform with Symphoria

Feb 3, 2017
Scott Willis/WAER News

Fans of music, magic, and acrobatics will once again have a chance to see Cirque de la Symphonie’s performance at the OnCenter this weekend.  After attracting a sold out show last year, the traveling troupe returns to Syracuse for two shows that pair the music of Symphoria with Cirque-Di-Solei-style theatrics. Founding member of Symphoria, Jon Garland says the two art mediums pair nicely.

“It’s a really amazing thing to see and to work with too, because the two art forms together is a wonderful collaboration.”

Scott Willis / WAER News

  Those who live, work, or visit parts of downtown Syracuse will soon be able to try their hand at playing some musical instruments.  The drums, bells, and pipes will be installed in clusters at three locations as part of an effort to bring music to the community.  Symphoria Managing Director Catherine Underhill says the instruments will be weatherproof and ADA accessible.

"They're all melodic, they're all tuned so they're harmonious one with another," Underhill said.  "They'll all be in ensemble formation, so you can just walk up and make some music."

John Smith / WAER News

Central New York’s own orchestra Symphoria will be taking the stage at the Lakeview Amphitheater for the first time ever on July 4th.  The concert will also include a fireworks display immediately after the performance.  Musician and Organizer Jon Garland says the selections should put everyone in a patriotic mood.