The Old York Road Symphony was founded in 1932-33 by Stanley Chute of the theater orchestra of the Old York Road Players, Suzanne C. Meder of the Jenkintown School of Cultural Arts, and Louis Angeloty, who had been first chair of the Philadelphia Orchestra. In the spring of 1933 twenty members of the orchestra gave their first concert in the Keswick Theatre in Glenside. In September 1934 the Symphony received its charter as a nonprofit organization, and has been in continuous operation ever since.
Today, our mission is to provide an outlet for the interests and talents of serious musicians of all ages, while enriching the cultural life of suburban Philadelphia. To that end, the orchestra is comprised of the full range of instrumentalists, all volunteer musicians from the Delaware Valley, primarily from the areas just north of Philadelphia. We average about 65 playing members, ranging in age from high school through senior citizen, having diverse ethnic backgrounds. Competent string players are always welcome to join the orchestra.
The Orchestra rehearses each Tuesday evening at the Abington Junior High School and presently brings a wide variety of performances to the citizens of Montgomery County, from Pops Concerts to Family Concerts to the finest in symphonic concerts and orchestral soloists.
Maestro Yoon Jae Lee is our Music Director/Conductor. The 2013-2014 season will be his sixth year on our podium and we look forward to continuing the long history of the Old York Road Symphony under his leadership.
Maestro Lee is the eighth Music Director of the orchestra. Co-founder and first conductor Louis Angeloty held the position until 1956 when he was succeeded by Wolfgang Richter. Richter served until 1968 followed by Joseph Primavera, a violist with the Philadelphia Orchestra for many years. In 1978, not yet 21 years of age, Mark Laycock, winner of the Leopold Stokowski Memorial Competition, became the orchestra’s conductor. In 1984 Minnesota-born Arne Running, a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music took over the reins. From 1997 through 2003 Dr. Douglas Meyer served as Music Director/Conductor. In 2004 Gabriel Gordon was selected as Music Director/Conductor and led the orchestra through the 2008 season, when his relocation to New Mexico caused him to step down.