A Long History

early grande ronde

For nearly 70 years northeastern Oregon has benefitted from artistic performance and educational enrichment provided by the Grande Ronde Symphony Association and its major programs including the Grande Ronde Symphony Orchestra, the Grande Ronde Student Symphony, and the Chamber Concert series.

The Grande Ronde Symphony Orchestra is believed to be the oldest continuously operating community symphony orchestra west of the Mississippi.  The orchestra began at Eastern Oregon College in 1946 with faculty and student musicians.  The first meeting of the newly formed Grande Ronde Symphony association was held at Eastern Oregon College on December 5, 1951, followed quickly by the adoption of a constitution, bylaws and election of officers and board members.  The organization has been ongoing ever since.

The orchestra presents an annual series of three concerts in Eastern Oregon University’s McKenzie Theater in Loso Hall and one concert in Baker City.  The orchestra also performs at other events such as the annual Holiday Music Festival.  Many of the musicians in the orchestra form smaller ensembles to perform chamber concerts in area homes, as well.