Skagit Symphony’s mission is to inspire and transform our community through the power of music!
Although our roots go back to 1961 when musicians at Skagit Valley College formed a college orchestra, “Skagit Valley Symphony” was officially born in 1979 as an all-volunteer orchestra under the auspices of the College Foundation. In 1992, the Symphony separated from the Foundation to form an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization managed by a volunteer board of directors.
Today our orchestra, Skagit Symphony, has about 60 volunteer members representing many communities of our region: Anacortes, Arlington, Bellingham, Bow, Burlington, Camano Island, Coupeville, Everett, La Conner, Lynden, Mount Vernon, Oak Harbor, Sedro-Woolley, and Silvana. Our talented and dedicated musicians range in age from 16 to 80. Many have been playing in the orchestra for over 20 years!
The orchestra rehearses on Monday evenings in the fellowship hall of Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church. They prepare for four evening concerts over the course of the season, all performed at McIntyre Hall. The orchestra also presents three School Concerts and a community Family Concert at McIntyre each year, as part of Skagit Symphony’s Education Program.
Roupen Shakarian, our Music Director for 14 years, stepped down as our conductor at the end of the 2017-18 concert season. Our Search Committee ultimately selected five finalists for this position out of 46 applications received from all over the country. After a concert season of auditioning these candidates, the Symphony will announce our new Music Director in June 2019. She/he will start in that role soon thereafter to prepare for the 2019-20 season, Skagit Symphony’s 40th!
The Symphony currently has three part-time employees who manage the administration of the organization: Executive Director, Operations Manager, and Administrative Assistant. They are based in the Symphony office, located at this time in space generously donated by The Shand Law Firm in downtown Mount Vernon. Several contractors provide additional services (such as graphic design, percussion transport, music library management, etc.), to complement the work of our regular staff and the efforts of over 60 volunteers who organize fundraising events, help out at the Symphony office, and serve on the Symphony’s many committees.
Our volunteer board of directors meets monthly, and oversees the health and wellbeing of the entire organization. The Music Director and Executive Director report to the Board President.