Founded in 1995, the Hanover Symphony Orchestra (HSO) is a non-profit, volunteer orchestra dedicated to fostering the love of music through entertainment, encouragement and education. With his tremendous love of music, Maestro Larry Kuntz began with a dream of developing an orchestra for the community – a place where the gifted musicians from the area could give of their talents. This dream became a reality. The inaugural concert on November 5, 1995 featured the First Movement of the Unfinished Symphony by Schubert, The Royal Fireworks Overture by Handel, and the Triumphal March from Aida by Verdi.
During its first ten years, the Hanover Symphony Orchestra has played a great and varied repertoire which includes: Peter and the Wolf by Prokofiev, the William Tell Overture by Rossini, the New World Symphony by Dvorak, Nabucco Overture by Verdi, Olympic Fanfare and Theme (1984) by John Williams, March Slav by Tchaikovsky, Carnival of the Animals by Saint-Seans, the Allegretto from Symphony No. 7 by Beethoven and music from Lord of the Dance by Hardiman.
Among the HSO’s most memorable and touching concerts was the “Star Spangled Spectacular Concert” performed on November 3, 2001. Although the repertoire for the concert had been chosen in the spring of 2001, the tragic events of September 11, 2001 made the concert especially poignant for the audience and musicians alike. During the “Armed Forces Salute,” all service men and women, veterans and active duty, were greeted by tremendous admiration and applause as they stood and saluted when their military themes were played!
As a part of its mission, the Hanover Symphony Orchestra has established a scholarship program. In the spring of 1997, the orchestra began awarding $2,000 college scholarships to deserving high school seniors and $300 summer music camp scholarships to deserving students of any age. To date, 20 college scholarships and 21 summer music camp scholarships have been awarded.
Throughout its history the HSO has also demonstrated a strong commitment to the community through benefit concerts. Organizations that have benefited from these concerts include: the Greater Hanover Area Red Cross, Hanover Area Council of Churches, Hanover Public Library, Hanover Area Literacy Council and the Eichelberger Performing Arts Center. In July 2007, the HSO was fortunate enough to play “Titanic” the Musical, for the Acts of Kindness Theater Company with half of the proceeds going to Adams County Arts Council.
The members of the Hanover Symphony Orchestra play three concerts a year (fall, spring and summer pops), are from all walks of life: professional musicians, doctors, dentists, teachers, bankers, select advanced high school players, apprentices and even a NASA engineer. Throughout the years, they have performed with such world-class guest artists as soprano, Karen Bureau; cellist, Nancy Baun; narrator, George Matthew; pianist, Greg Thomas and movement artist, Dan Kamin.
On April 10, 2005 the Hanover Symphony Orchestra celebrated the accomplishments of its first decade with a gala concert. We opened our second decade with our October 30, 2005 “Musician Favorites II” with a piece written by our President of the Board Walter Janusz, “Chorale Prelude: Love on the Cross”.
On October 28, 2007, we returned to the Eichelberger Performing Arts Center dedicating the concert to “our dear friend and mentor Walt Janusz”, who passed away on October 12, 2007. In his memory, we again played his piece “Chorale Prelude: Love on the Cross”. Since then, the HSO has added the very successful Taste of Chamber Music as an annual winter event and has worked with the Hanover Area Historical Society in bringing Concerts on the Lawn to the Warehime-Myers Mansion in the summertime. Now halfway through our second decade as a vital and cultural part of the community, the orchestra continues its mission by bringing together old and young, professional and amateur, audience and artist into an atmosphere filled with the joyous bond of music.
For our "Sweet 16th Season" we brought movement artist Dan Kamin back to the Eichelberger Performing Arts Center, soprano Laura Heydt-Adams and 2003 Hanover Symphony Orchestra Scholarship winner, Julie Davis Smith. On May 15, 2011, the Hanover Symphony Orchestra joined the Hanover Community Singers in a combined concert as a "Time to Remember the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 and recognize our public servants and military". Little did we know at the time, that this concert would be the last concert conducted by our Music Director, Larry Kuntz. We had been very fortunate to have Maestro Larry Kuntz, Jr. as our Music Director since its inception in 1995. However, he felt the need to take a sabbatical for the 2011-2012 Concert Season. Three very accomplished and talented guest conductors stepped up to the podium; Brian Buterbaugh, Jamie Brown and our Assistant Conductor Susan Gross.
We were in the need of a new Music Director for our 2012-2013 Concert Season, and Brian Buterbaugh volunteered to be our Interim Music Director. We are very privileged to have him, as his Fall 2011 Concert, Fish and Chips: "An English Treat," received rave reviews. This concert season promises to be just as inspiring and entertaining.
Many thanks to Larry Kuntz, Brian Buterbaugh, Jamie Brown, Susan Gross; and to each and every one of the orchestra members, for their dedication, and especially for their great inspiration and music. A heartfelt thanks also to our faithful supporters for without them we would cease to exist.