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New Bedford Symphony Orchestra

Mission & History

Mission and History

The mission of the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra is to place the world’s finest music at the center of the cultural life of the South Coast community. The NBSO enriches the lives of adults and children through the transforming power of great music, performing concerts at the highest level of professional standards and providing educational programs for children and listeners of all ages that deepen their enjoyment and understanding of music and make it a part of their daily lives.

The history and mission of the NBSO begins with its founder, Clarence Arey. In 1915, Mr. Arey, a gifted musician and teacher, established the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra to provide high quality performances of classical music for his community. Mr. Arey also created the first public high school orchestra program in Massachusetts. When the New Bedford High School Orchestra performed at the annual Massachusetts Superintendents Conference in 1913, superintendents from around the state were so impressed with the quality of the performance that many of them returned home and quickly established orchestra programs in their school systems. Soon, almost every high school in Massachusetts boasted a student orchestra. Mr. Arey’s dual devotion to a Symphony Orchestra presenting high quality performances of classical music for its community and a music education program opening the world of classical music to young people remains the heart and soul of the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra.

The NBSO’s governance and management approach is rooted in strategic planning. Over the last fourteen years, the NBSO has completed four strategic plans. Each plan was developed to cover a three to five year time frame with the recognition that it is best to renew the process every three years. With this underpinning of strategic planning, the NBSO has experienced unprecedented growth. During this time period, the NBSO’s budget has grown by a multiple of ten, the number of concerts presented has more than doubled, and educational programs have gone from serving 2,000 children annually to more than 8,000. The NBSO is a 501( c)(3), tax-exempt, nonprofit corporation. It is governed by a Board of Trustees made up of volunteers who live in the South Coast region.

Board of Trustees

Sandria R. Parsons, Chair

Geoff Swett, Treasurer

Prof. Susan J. Leclair, Clerk

Jan Bichsel

Janet Coquillette

Michael A. Esposito

Robert B. Feingold, Esq.

Dr. Albert J. Fox

Dorothy A. Hebden-Heath

Eric Huber, Musician Trustee

Raina V. Lamade, Ph.D.

Paul A. Lamoureux

Dr. Alvin Marcovici

Susan Mead

Jennifer Memoli, Musician Trustee

Edward Ottensmeyer

Barry Steinberg

Margot Stone

Michael Sudofsky

Alexandra Woodruff

Advisory Council

Talbot Baker, Jr.

Andrea Daskalakis

Priscilla Ditchfield

Richard Grahn

Sharon Grahn

Thomas Hallam

Sally Johnston

Andy Kotsatos

Philip Lima 

Michael P. Malone

John Mannix

Pamela Norweb

Margot Schmid

Joan Underwood

Marjorie Waite

Janet Whitla

Ann Ziegler

In Memoriam

Lillian Lamoureux       

Board of Trustees, 1979-2017

Board President, 1981-1999

President Emerita, 1999-2017


Symphony Staff

Elisa Birdseye, Librarian

Mike Daniels, SEMAYO Program Coordinator

Yaniv Dinur, Music Director

Matthew Gomes, Finance Director

Wes Hopper, Personnel Manager

Adam Jeffreys, Education Specialist

Roberta Kennedy, Director of Concert Operations

Tobias Monte, SEMAYO Senior Conductor

David M. Prentiss, President and CEO

Abigail Smith, Operations and Program Coordinator

Conee Sousa, Director of Marketing and Public Relations

Janice Weber, South Coast Chamber Music Series Artistic Director

Terry Wolkowicz, Education Director

Production Services

Amanda Quintin Design, Print Design

Spectrum Marketing Group, Website Design

Minuteman Press of Dartmouth, Printing Services

Richard Van Inwegen, Photography


The Southcoast Chamber Music Series (SCCMS) was formed to present high quality classical chamber music for the communities of Southeastern MA. Each program presents an engaging array of styles, timbres, and artists in lively acoustic environments throughout the Southcoast.

Click here for information.

Your donations make possible our innovative educational programs.

Our educational programs serve over 25,000 children a year, and we are recognized nationally for our innovative approach and high impact. We all know of the documented benefits of children learning music, and we firmly believe that by introducing classical music to a new generation of students through our programs, we are helping them to make critical connections between music and their everyday lives, making their NBSO experience enriching on multiple levels.

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