Timeline Highlights

The Stratford Civic Orchestra was founded in 2004 by educator and arts manager, Yootha Neller. Her goal was to establish a fine orchestra within the Stratford community to present excellent performances with a broad stylistic range. Since that time, the SSO has presented an annual season of live performances of classical and contemporary music, with a special emphasis on Canadian composers. The SSO has become an integral part of the region's arts community, collaborating with other cultural and educational organizations and participating in community events.


2019 Season 15

  • Featured presentation: Celtic Concert with Natalie MacMaster at the Avon Theatre

2016 Season 12

  • William Rowson becomes permanent Music Director
  • New Year’s Day concert tradition begins
  • Featured presentation: Celtic Concert with Loreena McKennit

2014 Season 10

  • Featured presentation: The Mikado, stage direction by Barbara Young, conducted by Bert Carriere

2012 Season 8

  • Celtic Concert conducted by guest conductor Nigel Evans
  • Christmas Sing-along tradition began
  • Featured presentation: Howard Cable Big Band Show with saxophone soloist Harvey Kogen

2011  Season 7

  • Barbara Young, Bert Carriere became Co-Music Directors
  • Michael Purves-Smith Guest Conductor
  • Featured presentations: Shostakovich 5th Symphony and HMS Pinafore, stage managed by Nora Polley from the Stratford Festival

2010 Season 6

  • Jerome Summers’ last season as Music Director

2009 Season 5

  • Featured presentation: Lara St. John performed the Korngold Violin Concerto 

2005 Inaugural Season

  • Founded by Yootha Neller (former principal oboist, SSO)
  • Jerome Summers Music Director
  • The annual Celtic Concerts began
  • First Emerging Artist Concerto Competition won by Drew Santini, now an internationally recognized singer


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