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Our Mission


To improve the quality of life for the people of Northwest Connecticut through high quality orchestral performances and experiential music education programs.



Founded in May 1938 under the direction of Maestro Mario DiCecco, the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra (WSO) has spent the past several decades promoting the understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of symphonic and orchestral music. Originally incorporated as the Waterbury Civic Orchestra (1940), the Symphony and its mission have grown in both vision and artistic merit, expanding from a community orchestra to the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra (1956). For the past 27 seasons, the WSO has been led by Leif Bjaland.

The Symphony draws over 100 talented musicians from across New England to perform in our concert series at the Naugatuck Valley Community College Fine Arts Center in Waterbury and various locations throughout Litchfield County.

Through continued growth and development, the WSO aims to create and maintain a deeper connection with the local community. Additions to its concert series, fundraising events, a volunteer league and expanded educational programs are just a few ways the Symphony makes this happen.

Our Vision  

All people who attend a performance of the orchestra or participate in one of our educational programs will be positively and emotionally impacted by their experience. 


The community feels engaged in the work of the organization and the organization is viewed as improving the quality of peoples' lives.  We will be known for being innovative in the presentation of our performances and artistically brilliant. 


We will help break down the perceived barriers between Waterbury and surrounding communities by acting as a convener to bring communities together. 


We will expand the number of orchestral performances and expand our educational programming. 


We will offer our performances and educational programs in a number of communities in Northwest Connecticut. 


We will be financially sustainable and thriving, with sufficient resources to ensure the orchestra’s future. 


We will have a committed group of professional musicians who view the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra as their “orchestra of choice”. 


Our professional staff will grow to accommodate the growth of the organization’s programs and relationship building efforts.

Our Values 

Accessibility: We believe all people have the right to experience live music and we will work to remove barriers that may prevent access to music in the communities we serve. 


Individual Experience: We believe in the uniqueness of each individual’s experience when listening to music and participating in the creation of music. 


Live Performance: We believe in the preservation and promotion of live performance as well as protecting and cultivating the process of creation. 


Integrity: We hold ourselves to the highest standards of both artistic expression and organizational management. 


Orchestral Music: We believe in promoting and preserving orchestral music both in its traditional form and contemporary interpretations. 


Respect: We believe in music as a tool to develop respect for others and others’ contributions to the collective experience of performance.

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