In the summer of 2004 Ulli Reiner, Concertmaster, had the vision to form a symphony orchestra that would fill a need for classical music performances in the community and for musicians interested in playing in a full orchestra. Soon a handful of musicians signed up, a conductor was chosen and the first performance was presented on April 1, 2005. From these humble beginnings, the orchestra has grown into a full size symphonic orchestra. Its repertoire has expanded to over seventy five classical music masterpieces of the great composers. Appreciative audiences have increased over the years at the three annual concerts in the beautiful local venue that is the Poway Center for the Performing Arts. The orchestra is organized through the Poway Unified School District, Adult School.
Since 2005, four conductors have led the orchestra : Randall Brinton, Branden Muresan and Warren Torns. In August 2014 the orchestra welcomed John LoPiccolo as the new Music Director and Conductor and performed the first concert under his direction in November 2014.
The Poway Symphony Orchestra is the only organization to offer such live performances of classical masterpieces in a local venue, thereby enriching the quality of life in the area. While there is a wide variety of performing arts offerings in the area, the orchestra's symphonic concerts fill a gap on this spectrum.
While celebrating its 10th anniversary, the PSO has arrived at a critical mass needed for an enhanced musical profile and increased community recognition. With the dedication and commitment of the musicians under the leadership of Music Director John LoPiccolo, the Poway Symphony Orchestra is reaching new heights in its quest to be a shining star in the cultural spectrum offered locally and of which the community can be proud.
The musicians comprise members of all walks of life. Some have or have had carriers as professional musicians or as music educators, others have music degrees while their professional life is in other fields, yet others are accomplished instrumentalists and all share their desire to perform great music in a high quality level orchestra.
In October 2015 a non-profit organization was formed with the sole purpose of supporting the orchestra and to assure its further growth. The Poway Symphony Orchestra Foundation endeavors to raise funds in order to cover the expenses associated with the production of the three concerts each year, and oversees the operations of the orchestra's committees.
Some of the past performance highlights include Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 (Ching-Ming Cheng, solist); Beethoven's Symphony No. 5; Max Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1 (Misha Vayman, solist); Dvorak's Cello Concerto (Daniel Grab, soloist); Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez (Fred Benedetti, guitar); Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue (Steve Baker, piano); J. S. Bach's Concerto for Two Violins (Ulli Reiner and Roger Pine, violin); Rutter's Magnificat for Orchestra and Choir (combined choirs of Mt. Carmel and Rancho Bernardo High Schools); and Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 (Chetan Tierra, piano). Many more delightful masterpieces have been successfully performed and appreciated by audiences and performers alike.
Randall Brinton, 2004-2006
Branden Muresan, 2006-2009
Warren Torns, 2009-2014
John LoPiccolo, 2014-