The new Aiken Symphony Orchestra, a not-for-profit IRS 501 (c)(3) organization, brings a dramatic new dimension to the music culture of Aiken. Dr. Portnoy has brought together an ensemble of some of the best professional classical instrumentalists from South Carolina and nearby Georgia. On par with a number of regional orchestras from larger nearby towns and cities, the new Aiken Symphony Orchestra will greatly add to the vitality and sophistication required of Aiken in order to attract new businesses, employees, and recent retirees to our community.
In addition to the Orchestra’s classical and pops concerts, the new Orchestra has as its mission the enhancement of music education among the students and citizens of the Aiken community. Every year in February, the Orchestra performs in the Aiken Symphony Guild’s long established Youth Concert Series before some 2,500 fifth grade students from Aiken and Edgefield counties. To learn more about the activities of the Aiken Symphony Guild, please visit their website.
The Aiken Symphony Orchestra will provide artistic leadership to the greater Aiken community through the presentation of symphonic music that educates, entertains, and enriches the human spirit.
In April 2011, a professional symphony orchestra was assembled by Maestro Donald Portnoy to accompany world famous Metropolitan Opera star Frederica von Stade in her farewell concert held at the USCA Etherredge Center in Aiken. Originally named the “Orchestra of the Midlands,” its core musicians were among the finest professional symphony orchestra players residing in South Carolina and Georgia.
We are most pleased that Aiken has gained its own professional symphony orchestra. Befitting its new identity as “Aiken’s own,” the old name, “Orchestra of the Midlands” has been retired. In its place is a new identity, the “Aiken Symphony Orchestra.”
Aiken Symphony Orchestra Directors
Board Members/Executive Committee
David Allen, President
Doris Begley, Audience Relations
Camille Furgiuele, Vice President/Corporate Secretary
Beverley Zigelman, Treasurer
Scott Corey Dunbar, Strategic Planning Chair
Sandy Costanzo, Chief Administrative Officer
Dr. Donald Portnoy, Music Director & Conductor
Prof. Jack Benjamin
Wallace Corey Dunbar
Dr. Tayloe Harding
Thomas C. Hofstetter, President Emeritus
Em Ligon, Vice President, Aiken Symphony Guild
Prof. David Owen
David Tavernier, President, Aiken Symphony Guild
E. Owen Clary
Dr. Sandra Jordan, USCA Chancellor
John Klimm, Aiken City Manager
Representative Bill Taylor