A LITTLE ABOUT US
MPO exists to enrich the culture of the community through music performance and education, fostering a greater appreciation and understanding of music.
The vision of the MPO is to be a premier orchestra, providing musical, cultural, and creative art experiences for the community.
When it all began
The Marion Philharmonic was formed in 1969 under the direction of Benjamin G. Del Vecchio. The orchestra was comprised of students and local area musicians until it became a semi-professional ensemble within a five year period. Mr. Del Vecchio was an Indiana University doctoral student when he joined the music faculty at Taylor University. Little did he know founding an orchestra would become a major priority. With the assistance of Dr. Edward Hermanson of Taylor University and a group of committed Marion businessmen, the orchestra quickly became a passion of Del Vecchio and together they developed the MPO.
In 1975 Robert Antonian was named director and conductor of the MPO. Before coming to Grant County, Mr. Antonian was on the faculty of the New York State University School of Music at Fredonia. During his career, Mr. Antonian directed over 350 concerts in Europe and the United States.
The MPO opened its 1978 season under the direction of Manfred Blum. Mr. Blum taught at Earlham College, directed the Richmond Symphony, and was acting director of the Anderson Symphony.
Maestro Raymond Harvey took direction of the MPO in 1982. An accomplished pianist and choral conductor, his talent has been sought after by many of the nation’s leading orchestras. Raymond Harvey was called “one of a welcome new breed of American-born and trained conductors enriching our national musical scene.”
The MPO welcomed Yale University graduate, Neil Gittleman in 1986. Mr. Gittleman continued his tenure until 1996, dedicating his high musical standards and built an even stronger relationship between the orchestra and its patrons. Gittleman continues to serve as conductor of the Dayton Philharmonic, Dayton Ohio.
Alexander Platt began his opening season in 1996 leading the orchestra through two decades of committed musical excellence. Mr. Platt served as conductor of the Racine, Waukesha, and Grand Forks Symphonies, Director of the Plymouth Chorale in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and has guest conducted with several leading orchestras throughout the United States and Europe.
The Marion Philharmonic recently celebrated its 2018-19 “New Dawning” season with Maestro Matthew Kraemer, continuing his tenure into the 2019 -20 season. Mr. Kraemer currently serves as the Music Director of the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra and the Butler County Symphony in western Pennsylvania. The MPO family and Maestro Kraemer will continue to dedicate and enrich Grant County residents with high quality orchestral performances.