The Kenosha Symphony Orchestra (KSO) strives for excellence in our music selection, performances, and our outreach to Kenosha families, and we endeavor to make quality music a part of our community. Our fundamental goal is to provide a bridge between the community and the arts. One of the ways in which we achieve these goals is by working with a highly-regarded Music Director and Conductor, Dr. Robert G. Hasty. This season marks Dr. Hasty’s seventh year leading the KSO. He also conducts the Chamber Orchestra and Philharmonic at the Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University where he serves as the Associate Director of Orchestras. A noted researcher in music cognition, Dr. Hasty has been an author for two publications delivered at the 7th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition in Sydney, Australia. We believe that the Kenosha Symphony is the gateway to expanding a base of support for the arts in the area.
Attracting top-quality, professional talent is key to our success at the KSO and we believe that artists must be paid for the work that they do. We pay Dr. Hasty and the professional musicians that he selects to work with in our full-sized symphony orchestra. Paying the artists has always been our top priority, so as an organization, we have tried a variety of operational models including paid administrative staff at times, volunteer-run at other times, and are currently operating with a new model of a role-based Board of Directors. This current model allows us to divide up the administrative tasks related to running a professional symphony orchestra, work collaboratively as a team, utilize the skill and knowledge of our volunteer board members, and direct more of the funding directly to the musicians and Music Director. The KSO Board is made up of twelve members, each with individual responsibilities and job descriptions. The Board is divided into four committees (Executive Committee, Grants Committee, Fundraising Committee, and Music Events Committee) which meet once monthly or more, depending on the current activities that the committee is organizing. The Board then comes together as a whole once a month, during which time each committee reports their recent activities to the board, and traditional financial reports and voting take place. This model is very collaborative and helps to keep the organization more connected to the community.
Through the continued partnership with the Kenosha Unified School District, the KSO presented its annual Youth Concerts of age-appropriate live symphonic performances designed to “inspire minds” through expanding musical knowledge and cultural awareness. These concerts are also made free to all who attend. The KSO is striving to contribute to the community through high-quality, multi-dimensional music experiences. With an exciting year planned, and a greater expansion of public performances and youth-centric programming, all are invited to join the KSO in spreading the joy of live symphonic music within our community.