Our Past –
Over 50 years ago, the Willow Manor Players asked J.T. (Dick) Purpura to assemble a musical group for their operetta “The Merry Widow.” The impromptu group stuck together, practicing in small halls, cramped quarters, and a hangar at the Brewster Aircraft factory in Warminster. The following year, the Warminster Symphony Orchestra was formed from this nucleus. It is operated under the auspices of the Warminster Symphony Society, a not-for-profit corporation organized under the laws of the Commonwealth of PA. The Orchestra started out rehearsing in the main hangar of what eventually became the Naval Air Development Center. It eventually moved its rehearsals to the Warminster Township Building. In 1980, Gil Guglielmi was named to succeed J.T. Purpura as Music Director. Under Maestro Guglielmi’s leadership the orchestra continued to grow in scope and size. During this time, the subscription series was established and guest soloists began being featured. Concerts were held in the Log College Middle School Auditorium. In 1995, Joseph Lovecchio, our current Maestro, was named Music Director.
Our Present –
From what had originally been sixteen members who performed three times a year, the Orchestra now numbers 65 members, including professional musicians as well as talented non-professional musicians, and performs six or more times a year for the public.
The Orchestra continues to perform the great orchestral masterworks of the past as well as the best of contemporary favorites. Our programming strikes the right balance with our audiences which come from a large and expanding geographic area. In order to accommodate the ever-growing audience, the concert venue was moved to the beautiful and spacious 1900-seat William Tennent Auditorium.
A significant feature of WSO seasons are the guest soloists of national and international stature such as: Broadway stars Ciaran Sheehan, Gay Willis, Sarah Pfisterer, and Kimilee Bryant; Philadelphia Orchestra musicians Kimberly Fisher, William and Gloria DePasquale, legendary performers from Ireland, Eily Patterson and Louis Browne; world-renowned trumpeter Allen Vizutti; tuba soloist Velvet Brown; Grammy nominated cross-over violinist Jenny Oaks Baker, acclaimed classical violinist Ellen DePasquale; and the official White House Fanfare Ensemble, “The United States Army Herald Trumpets”; all whom have performed with the Warminster Symphony Orchestra.
Another point of pride is our Young Artist Competition, which has attracted incredibly talented future musical stars from the Philadelphia area. By giving the winners an opportunity to showcase their talent and accomplishment by publicly performing with a full symphony orchestra, it encourages and inspires all young musicians to pursue their musical dreams and continue their musical studies.
Our Future –
The mission of the Society and Orchestra remains two-fold: to preserve the musical arts within our communities and to maintain an affordable place for residents of all ages to be uplifted and connected through the universal language of music. The WSO musicians, conductor, and board of directors are committed to this mission and the continued growth and expanded presence of the Warminster Symphony Orchestra in our region.