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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 States that can boast of having a symphony orchestra. We aim to give several concerts this winter and play the best there is in music.
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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 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 over 85 years of continuous growth and support.



We shall pursue this vision by producing and presenting music of the highest artistic caliber and fostering lifelong music education and appreciation.


In pursuit of this vision the Modesto Symphony Orchestra Association shall be guided by these values.



foster an environment conducive to innovation in the type, format and venue of musical performance and to the administration and governance of MSO.



expect high levels of performance both on-stage and in MSO’s administration and governance.


be honest and expect a foundation of strong moral principles behind all actions.




look for opportunities to work with others on shared goals.



strive to meet the needs and desires of all segments of the community through music performance and education.



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To send comments or questions to the Modesto Symphony Orchestra please select from the options below.

Modesto Symphony Orchestra
911 Thirteenth Street
Modesto, CA 95354




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Looking for an MSO musician or ensemble for a wedding, company gathering or upcoming special event? Let us help you find the musician to make your event memorable! For referrals, please contact our Operations office at 209.523.4156 x109.