This Spring's anticipated performances will mark Hamden Symphony Orchestra's 60th Season! An all-volunteer orchestra of more than 60 musicians from the Greater New Haven area and beyond, Hamden Symphony members share a passion for rehearsing and performing great music together.
Founded in 1962 by Ruth T. Brooks, the Orchestra provides cultural enrichment to the community of Hamden, Connecticut, through its series of concerts, its annual Young Musicians Concerto Competition (YMCC), the Ruth T. Brooks Scholarship Award, and the rewarding experience offered to its members and guest artists.
The Orchestra's commitment to the musical development of local students is a source of great pride. For the last 51 years the Hamden Symphony Orchestra’s YMCC has provided an invaluable educational experience to gifted young musicians in the area: the chance to perform as a soloist with a full symphony orchestra. The competition is held annually each winter, and the winners are featured at the Orchestra's spring concert. In addition, for over 35 years the Orchestra has honored a graduating Hamden High School senior who has demonstrated excellence in their musical studies with the Ruth T. Brooks Scholarship Award. The 2021 winner of this award was Daniel Ostenpanko (Viola).
From 1969-2007, Hamden Symphony Orchestra was under the baton of Maestro Paul Gacek. To honor his distinguished leadership, continuing support and several return appearances to the podium in recent years, Maestro Gacek was officially designated Hamden Symphony Orchestra's "Conductor Laureate" in 2017.
In 2008, Vesna Mehinovic became the Music Director of Hamden Symphony Orchestra. Under Vesna's baton, the Orchestra has continued to expand, and has presented compelling and innovative concert-programs that have featured new compositions, talented instrumental and vocal soloists, and even dance and multimedia components. In 2016 & 2018, Hamden Symphony Orchestra was honored to be invited by the Town of Hamden to perform at its Independence Day Fireworks Celebration for a vast audience.