When the Modesto Symphony Orchestra gave its first concert in 1931, Modesto had a population of 17,000 and was the smallest town in the United States to have a symphony orchestra.
A letter sent to musicians in December of 1929 read:
"We wish to organize an orchestra to be known as the Modesto Symphony Orchestra. With your cooperation and assistance, I believe we will be the only city of its size in the United Stated that can boast of having a symphony orchestra. We aim to give several concerts this winter and play the best there is in music."
In 1977, the MSO became a fully professional ensemble. Today, the orchestra consists of 75 - 85 professional musicians from the Central Valley and San Francisco Bay area, and is under the artistic direction of Mr. David Lockington, who began his tenure in the September 2007 as the Orchestra’s eighth Music Director.
The Modesto Symphony has enjoyed a strong bond with the community and is fortunate to have experienced 84 years of continuous growth and support.