Kalamazoo Junior Symphony Society
Little seeds can mature into trees that nurture a community in unexpected ways. Such a seed was planted in September 1939 when a young man named Eugene Andrie founded the Kalamazoo Little Symphony, an audition-based youth orchestra.
Almost 75 years later the Little Symphony has grown into the Kalamazoo Junior Symphony Society (Junior Symphony Society), a canopy organization that supports four orchestras (Training, Concert, Symphonic and Junior Symphony). The Kalamazoo Junior Symphony, now under the expert leadership of Conductor and Music Director Andrew Koehler, offers affordable, high-quality concerts at the historic Chenery Auditorium.
In addition to providing an intensive musical education for its members, the Junior Symphony Society has a long history of community outreach. Ensembles On The Road sends some of the Junior Symphony’s most advanced musicians to educate, perform, answer questions and offer instrument petting zoos to the Boys and Girls Clubs, area elementary and middle schools, developmentally disabled youth facilities, and senior citizen residences, among others.
To extend its reach the Junior Symphony Society is excited to launch its 75th Anniversary Scholarship Fund Drive with the aim of raising $150,000 in scholarship money. In the last few years Kalamazoo has experienced a unique surge in music programs that serve disadvantaged youth, including the Kalamazoo Symphony and Crescendo Academy’s Marvelous Music as well as the Kalamazoo Symphony and Communities in Schools’ Kids in Tune, for which many Junior Symphony Society musicians serve as mentors. With the next 25 years in mind, the Junior Symphony Society looks forward to the upcoming centennial as it prepares to welcome the musicians of tomorrow.