The Calgary Civic Symphony
The Calgary Civic Symphony – often called The Civic – is a local orchestra made up of amateur musicians. Some of our members are professional musicians, music teachers, or former members of the Calgary Philharmonic. But most of our members have full-time jobs in careers that are not part of the performing arts. A common purpose of making music brings us together.
Dedicated to playing a beautiful and diverse mixture of music, we perform classical works, pop, film, and Christmas favourites. Each year, we present a series of five main concerts. The orchestra also plays educational and community shows throughout Calgary and nearby communities.
In 1975, the late music director, Kenneth Nielsen, invited local retired professional musicians to form a volunteer-based community orchestra. This was the birth of the Orchestra Society of Calgary which had an initial membership of 38 musicians.
The orchestra executive decided in 1985 to make a distinction between its main governing, fund-raising body, the Orchestra Society of Calgary, and its performing branch the Calgary Civic Symphony. With this differentiation, community members who were interested in cultural activities but were not performing artists could still be active members of the organisation.
Today The Civic has grown to over 100 members (60-70 on stage) who come from all walks of life. We rehearse once a week and invest in individual practice time to produce five amazing concerts every season.
The Civic also organizes, executes, and features winners of the Calgary Concerto Competition (C3) each year as an opportunity for young musicians to perform with the orchestra. Additionally, with the desire of creating exciting and inspiring projects and making new friends, the orchestra frequently collaborates with Calgary artists and organisations.