The Jackson Symphony Orchestra (JSO) is founded under the leadership of Conductor Pedro Paz.

JSO holds its inaugural concert in the Jackson High School auditorium, drawing an audience of 1200 attendees with 1800 tickets sold. Inclement weather prevents 600 people from attending.

The principal performance venue transitions from Jackson High School to Jackson Community College. The JSO establishes itself as a robust regional orchestra, delivering five subscription concerts, two pops concerts, four chamber concerts, Jazz Night performances, and numerous in-school children’s concerts annually.

JSO introduces its first Summer Pops concert, a tradition continuing for four decades at various locations across Jackson, including the Cascades, Ella Sharp Park, and Horace Blackman Park.

Renowned jazz musician Dizzy Gillespie collaborates with the JSO for a memorable performance.

The JSO moves into a new dedicated rehearsal and office space at the Commercial Exchange.

The JSO Community Music School (CMS) is established with two primary goals: to provide top-quality private and group instruction on orchestral instruments for community residents and to offer additional employment opportunities for orchestra members, thus attracting and retaining exceptional players. Three decades later, the music school’s enrollment reaches over 300 students a semester, overseen by a faculty of 20 instructors.

JSO successfully concludes a $1.4 million capital/endowment campaign, securing a downtown location for the orchestra’s activities, generously provided by Comerica Bank through a favorable lease agreement. This facility boasts 11,000 square feet of rehearsal, office, and studio space, attracting over 500 individuals weekly for lessons, rehearsals, concerts, classes, and community gatherings.

JSO commemorates its 50-year milestone with ambitious community engagement initiatives, including:

  • Babies in Tune: Providing complimentary CDs and infant development instructional booklets to families of newborns in Jackson County. You can still access these online here.
  • After School String Programs for Children at Risk:Delivering after-school string programs to children in 2nd – 5th grade, with over 350 participants.
  • Home School Orchestra: Catering to homeschooled children with twice-weekly meetings and beginner to intermediate level ensemble instruction.
  • Chamber Series: Presenting JSO resident musicians in classical, 20th-century, and jazz repertoires to the public.
  • String Academy: Offering intensive study for young musicians through audition-based admission, requiring private instruction.
  • Summer Strings Camp/ Piano Camp: Hosting a three-week summer music program focusing on musicianship, peer collaboration, and ensemble work.
  • JSO Goes to School: Providing in-school education through music education and concert experiences for grade school students, reaching 3,000 children annually.
  • JSO String Team: Launching group instruction for beginning string students through weekly meetings in large and small groups. This remains one of our most popular programs today.

Maestro Osmond celebrates 30 years as Music Director of the JSO, coinciding with the Community Music School’s 15th anniversary in its downtown facility. Comerica Bank donates a building valued at nearly $1 million, adding 16,000 square feet and igniting JSO’s $4.5 million Capital and Endowment Campaign, named Sound Vision.

JSO celebrates its 60th anniversary and intensifies community outreach through novel programs, including adult music appreciation courses, revamped chamber concerts, musician visits to schools, and adult beginner piano classes.

The JSO launches the “Music on Tap” series, broadening its offerings to encompass nationally and internationally touring musicians from diverse genres.

Stephen Osmond announces his retirement following the 2015-2016 season.

Matthew Aubin is appointed as Music Director for the JSO.

JSO marks 70 years of musical achievements, accompanied by a significant renovation of Weatherwax Hall facilitated by a generous donation from Faith Small. The refurbished space accommodates JSO performances and larger Music on Tap audiences.

Maestro Aubin initiates the “Equal Billing Project“, aimed at highlighting composers who faced marginalization during their lifetimes. The project’s debut showcases the work of Fernande Decruck, and the JSO’s recording is released on Claves Records. Steven Trosin takes over as Executive Director of the JSO after 9 years of service on staff.

JSO commemorates a decade of “Music on Tap,” celebrating its 10-year anniversary. The orchestra records its second annual “Equal Billing Project,” spotlighting composer Fernande Decruck. To streamline the selection process for future iterations of the project, Maestro Aubin establishes an advisory committee. JSO introduces its first Sensory-Friendly Chamber Concert to cater to audience members with sensory sensitivities.