About FSO: Mission & History
To enrich, engage, and inspire our community through the performance of orchestral music.
Orchestral music is essential to the cultural life of our community.
View the 2015-2018 Strategic Plan here
Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra History
In 1950 the Northern Arizona Orchestra played its first concert in the gymnasium at Northern Arizona University. On May 29, 1961, articles of incorporation were filed with the state of Arizona declaring the Flagstaff Symphony Association a nonprofit corporation. The names on that document are embedded in Flagstaff’s history: George Babbitt, Jr., William W. Stevenson, Elden S. Porter, Robert F. Clark, William V. Borcherding, Platt Cline, Charles Fairchilds, and Eldon A. Ardrey.
In its 66th season, the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra continues a long and fruitful relationship with NAU and the community. It has also grown dramatically since that first concert in the gym into a fully professional orchestra, comprised of musicians who come together from diverse backgrounds to form an impressive and exciting ensemble capable of performing a variety of musical styles and repertoire. Hundreds have played in our orchestra over the years.
Artistic Director Elizabeth Schulze, now in her eighth season, leads performances with superb musical sense and attention to excellence. She is preceded by a line of distinguished conductors: Jack Swartz, Harold Goodman, Vernon Kliewer, Pat Curry, Tom Kirshbaum, Harold Weller and Randall Craig Fleischer.