About Us

Since 1934, the Springfield Symphony has provided the highest level of symphonic music and music education to all of Southwest Missouri, with a balance of artistic interest and sound fiscal responsibility.

1934 - Springfield Symphony Orchestra is founded after a group of Springfield (now Central) High School students approached music teacher, James Robertson, to form a civic orchestra.

February 26, 1935 – The symphony performs its first concert in Clara Thompson Hall, on the campus of then Drury College.

1936 - Board of Directors was formed

1942 - SSO joins 39 other orchestras from across the country to found the American Symphony Orchestra League, now known as the League of American Orchestras, which is the largest and most prestigious international body representing the orchestral industry today.

1956 – SSO Women’s Division was established. This dynamic group of volunteers is alive and well today in the form of the SSO Guild, and has been instrumental in many fundraising projects for the Symphony throughout its existence.

The SSO is Southwest Missouri’s largest regional, professional orchestra and is one of two oldest arts organizations in Springfield, MO.  It has held a total of eight conductors, including current Conductor/Music Director Kyle Wiley Pickett, each of whom have brought incredible, individual talents, as well as the shared desire to build a great orchestra. Our SSO season includes 9 subscription concerts(October – May) including six classical and three pops concerts; two free community concerts(Spooky Symphony and Christmas Cookies Matinee); and expansive education and outreach programming which includes Young People’s Concerts, Ensembles-In-Schools, Students at the Symphony, Instrument Petting Zoo, Senior Shuttle Service, Musgrave Community Balcony, and 20 free ensemble performances for various community events. Audience development programs include Behind the Baton and Pre-Concert talks. The Symphony is comprised of approximately 70 auditioned, paid professional musicians with tenures ranging from 1 to 50 years.