Mission

The Oakland Symphony, Youth Orchestra and Chorus bring together orchestral music, choral music and youth education to strengthen the Oakland/East Bay community by providing quality live performances, education for lifetime enrichment and the perpetuation of the performing arts.

Andrea Plesnarski, Principal Oboe
Andrea Plesnarski, Principal Oboe

Vision

The Oakland Symphony aims to make classical music accessible, particularly to those individuals in the community who might otherwise never hear live symphonic music. In the pursuit of our mission, we have established the following goals:

  1. To present live professional symphonic and collaborative artistic performances to diverse audiences in Oakland and East Bay communities;
  2. To serve as a community resource, offering education, performances and outreach to schools and the community, introducing new audiences of children and adults to symphonic music;
  3. To help ensure the future of symphonic music through the commission and performance of works by contemporary American composers;
  4. To provide leadership in the artistic community by fostering unity, collaboration and co-creation among Oakland and East Bay arts organizations.

Professional symphonic performances:

Symphonic music is a vital and evolving art form. The Symphony offers a wide range of symphonic music, not limited to the traditional classic repertoire, in order to reach a broader audience. We contribute to the future of symphonic music by commissioning and performing new works by contemporary American composers.

Community resource:

The Symphony serves a unique community, with a rich mix of racial, cultural and economic groups. We are committed to bringing music to people in the community, as well as bringing them into the concert hall. The Symphony is an important positive and vital force in the Oakland community, contributing energetically to its creativity and cultural diversity. We provide a forum for community involvement, and a way to nurture a needed atmosphere of human understanding and creativity.

Education outreach:

A leader in music education, Oakland Symphony has developed a comprehensive instrumental music program that serves over 1,300 students at 19 Oakland public schools. School visits by Michael Morgan and Symphony musicians bring music to institutions where there is little or no music education. Oakland Symphony’s programs serve a student population that is primarily African American, Asian and Latino, in some of the city’s most economically challenged neighborhoods.

Every year, the Young People’s Concerts bring live orchestral music to more than 5,500 children from community schools. In addition, the Symphony holds an annual Young Artist Competition and special Side-by-Side performances, which feature young local musicians performing on stage alongside professional musicians.

Artistic collaborations:

The Oakland Symphony brings together the talents and resources of diverse artistic groups from within the community. Whenever possible, we encourage the participation of Oakland’s opera, choral, dance and theatrical groups in collaborative performances. These organizations join together to promote a lively arts environment, and to entertain a wide range of audiences.