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The mission of the Philharmonic Society of Orange County is to foster an appreciation for music by presenting national and international performances of the highest quality while also providing dynamic and innovative music education programs for individuals of all ages.
In 1954, a group of music lovers formed an orchestra with the intent to make, enjoy, and spread the love of classical music. Now, more than 60 years later, the orchestra has evolved into the Philharmonic Society of Orange County, no longer an orchestra but strictly a music presenter—and no less dedicated to its original mission.
As Orange County’s third oldest arts organization and first music organization, the Philharmonic Society has evolved and grown with the community’s changing landscape.
Each season, the Philharmonic Society presents the world's greatest symphony orchestras, chamber ensembles, soloists and international artists, and, since 2006, has presented these performances at the world-class Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, such as the Vienna Philharmonic, the Berlin Philharmonic, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and soprano Renée Fleming. The Philharmonic Society also presents concerts at other venues in Orange County, including the Irvine Barclay Theatre, Musco Center for the Arts, and Soka Performing Arts Center.
The Philharmonic Society's nationally recognized Youth Music Education Programs, one of the most extensive music education programs of its kind in the country, are offered free of charge to schools, students and parents, and each year reach more than 100,000 students from kindergarten through high school.
The Committees of the Philharmonic Society are the Society's volunteer force and one of its principal fundraising sources. More than 90,000 hours of in-kind service are provided each year by the 700 volunteer members in implementing and evaluating the music education programs. The Committees also present a wide variety of fundraising events, including the Philharmonic House of Design and the Huntington Harbour Cruise of Lights®.