2020-2021 Board of Directors

​Kim Welch – President

Don Fiftal –  First Vice-President

Isobel Moore - Second Vice-President

Nancy Kiely – Treasurer

Anne Dranginis – Recording Secretary

Ron Artale

Ken Blazier

James Chittum

Thomas C. Clark

Laura Conway

Patrick Conway

Dr. Emily Eisen

Dr. Michael Feinberg

Dr. James Flint

Dana Ford

Dr. Paul Kelly

Albert Macchioni

Marcy Mejia

Caroline Messenger

Judith Miller

Rick Sadlon

Joyce Schwartz

Phillip Sterling

Kevin Taylor

Monsignor Robert Tucker

Maestro Leif Bjaland
Music Director & Conductor

Leif Bjaland served as the Artistic Director/Conductor of the Sarasota Orchestra from 1997 to 2012, during which time the orchestra experienced unprecedented artistic growth. As Artistic Advisor to The Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra for the last three seasons, he conducted concerts, led the orchestra on its first statewide tour and administered the search for a new music director.

A popular and active guest conductor, Mr. Bjaland made his debut at the Ravinia Festival conducting the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in a program entitled "Bernstein on Broadway" also involving soloists, chorus and dancers, and his first CSO Symphony Hall performance sharing the stage with Leonard Bernstein. He has appeared with the San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, Florida Philharmonic, Louisiana Philharmonic and the symphony orchestras of Fort Worth, Nashville, Detroit, Rochester, Utah, Madison, San Jose, Rhode Island, Virginia, Harrisburg, Colorado, Long Beach, and New World Symphony. As Music Director of the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra, Bjaland has received enormous enthusiasm and critical praise for his performances and imaginative programming. This included the 2019 premiere of a multi-media program called “The American Sound”, which incorporated rare historic footage of New York City at the turn of the century, and also film and spoken commentary of Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, and Aaron Copland. Bjaland is an enthusiastic proponent of music education, having taught for several summers in Venezuela as part of the country’s El Sistema program.


He received his Master’s degree in conducting from The University of Michigan, where he studied with Gustav Meier, and was a student of Leonard Bernstein and Michael Tilson Thomas at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute.    

Robert Cinnante
Executive Director

Robert Cinnante is a community-driven arts leader with more than a decade of combined experience as a performer and arts administrator. His appointment as Executive Director of the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra, beginning May 2017, came after having served as the Statewide Director of Education & Outreach at Virginia Opera. Previously he was the General Manager of Music for Food, a musician-led initiative for hunger-relief founded by Grammy Award winning violist Kim Kashkashian, a position he held from 2013 to 2015.

Mr. Cinnante also regularly acts as a consultant to artists and arts organizations. Past clients have included Emmanuel Feldman, D’Anna Fortunato, Sir James Galway, Formosa Quartet, Benoit Rolland, Triple Helix Piano Trio, and Virginia Commonwealth University’s Global Summer Institute of Music. He has also written articles and delivered lectures on a variety of topics surrounding the arts, such as arts education, audience and community engagement, and career preparation for young artists. Cinnante is a graduate of New England Conservatory in Boston, MA where he received a Bachelor and Master of Music, studying with Vinson Cole and Patricia Misslin.

Alyce Cognetta Bertz

Alyce Cognetta Bertz is the Concertmaster of the Waterbury Symphony  Orchestra.  She studied violin with Syoko Aki of the Yale School of Music and with Charles Tregor of the Hartt School of Music.
Ms. Bertz has studied chamber music with the Cleveland Quartet,  the  Julliard Quartet and Joseph Gingold. As a high school student she performed in Vienna, Austria at the world premier of Leonard Bernstein’s  “Mass”.   She has performed concerts at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, La Philarmonica de las Americas (Mexico), The Blossom Music Festival (Ohio), and the Waterloo Music Festival  with members of the New York  Philharmonic. 
Ms. Bertz has been violin soloist on WQXR in New York.  She has  appeared as a soloist with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Hartt Symphony Orchestra and has been a featured soloist with the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra on numerous occasions.

As a member of the Cognetta Trio, Ms. Bertz has appeared around New England at Cape Cod  Summer Music Festival in  Chatham, the Kosciuszko Foundation in New  York City,  Wolcott Classic Series,  Whaling Church Classical Series in Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard, Woodbury Chamber Music Series,  and in solo recitals at Geneva Opera House in New York. 

Ms. Bertz performs on an Italian violin made by Postiglione in 1869. She resides in Southbury with her husband, Gary, and teaches privately in her own studio.

We Are Still
Working Hard
Call or Email

Our administrative offices are temporarily closed, but our staff are working hard from their homes.  If you have questions, reach out via phone at 203-574-4283 or email at info@waterburysymphony.org.

Box Office
Is Now Virtual

Mon-Fri, 10am-4pm

(phone & email only,

until further notice)


The WSO builds connections across the region with exploratory concerts, events, and educational programs. The WSO maintains a firm commitment to produce programs that are of value to its patrons, participants and community partners. This commitment is rooted in the Symphony’s core belief that music education and shared cultural experiences are essential to creating community.  Founded in 1938, the Symphony has assembled over 100 of the most talented musicians across New England to perform throughout Northwest Connecticut.  The 2019-2020 season celebrates Maestro Leif Bjaland’s 25th Anniversary as Music Director & Conductor with the WSO.

The Symphony has been the Orchestra-in-Residence at Naugatuck Valley Community College since 1992. 

Naugatuck Valley Community College

750 Chase Parkway
Waterbury, CT 06708

The Palace Theater

100 E. Main St.
Waterbury, CT 06702



Administrative Offices:

160 Robbins Street

Waterbury, CT 06708

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