About the Bemidji Symphony Orchestra
The mission of the Bemidji Symphony Orchestra is to enrich and educate musicians and audiences of northern Minnesota through innovative orchestral experiences.
The Bemidji Symphony Orchestra is a thriving community orchestra servicing the region of North Central Minnesota. We bring classical music to new audiences and provide performance experience for musicians. The Orchestra performs six subscription concerts each season and offers concerts for youth biennially. We also offer a Summer Pops concert.
Established in 1938 by Milton Dieterich under the auspices of Bemidji State University, the BSO separated from the University in 2000 and became an independent, 501(c)3 nonprofit arts organization. During the 2003-2004 season, the BSO held a national search for its first independent conductor, and hired Dr. Beverly Everett, who became the Orchestra's first resident conductor in 2005.
Musicians in the Orchestra are selected through an audition process. The roster comprises both professional and amateur musicians alike, and includes community members, university students, university faculty, and highly qualified high school students. The Orchestra collaborates with acclaimed guest artists who further enrich the community through special master classes and chamber recitals.
The BSO Symphony Guild, modeled after orchestra support organizations around the country, exists to enhance the Orchestra's presence in the community, and to help raise additional funds for the Orchestra. It is open to men and women of all ages who enjoy giving of their time, energy, and expertise via social engagements, concert assistance, and fundraising projects. Sample projects include the dazzling gala event "Desserts by Design,” as well as donor appreciation receptions.
Musicians who are interested in auditioning to play with the BSO are invited to contact the BSO’s Music Personnel Manager Gretchen Rusch for detailed information on dates, locations, and audition requirements.
In 2008 the Bemidji Symphony Orchestra was one of 16 Minnesota arts organizations to receive a multi-year grant from ArtsLab . ArtsLab strengthens the impact of arts organizations through leadership and strategy development using tools such as intensive training, mentorship, and technical assistance. ArtsLab is a program of Arts Midwest and is funded by a collaboration of five major arts funders in the state: Bush, F.R. Bigelow, Martag, McKnight and Saint Paul Foundations.