History of KSO

A Journey Through Time: Our Historical Timeline

  • 1971

    The Indiana Symphonette Advisory Committee is founded in cooperation with the Office of Continuing Education at Indiana University of Kokomo, and an orchestra is formed. Mr. Benjamin DelVecchio is hired as conductor and manager.

  • 1973

    In April, the organization is incorporated under the name “Kokomo Symphonic Society, Inc.” The orchestra is hereafter known as “The Kokomo Symphony”. A professional string quartet is hired.

  • 1974

    The Symphonic Chorus is founded. A series of in-school concerts is inaugurated to be performed by the Symphony and Kokomo Symphony Ensembles.

  • 1980

    The budget increases to $53,869.

  • 1981

    DelVecchio resigns. Dr. Michael J. Esselstrom is hired as the conductor and music director. Barbara Cassis is hired as the manager.

  • 1982

    Recruitment in schools begins for Youth Orchestra.

  • 1983

    The Summer Youth Orchestra is established.

  • 1984

    The Society presents the first “Concert Pair” (two concerts).

  • 1985

    The Endowment Committee is formed. Cassis is named its executive director.

  • 1988

    The Symphonic Chorus dissolves.

  • 1991

    Esselstrom resigns. Brian T. Groner is hired as the conductor and music director. The Board of Directors votes to pay all Kokomo Symphony Orchestra board members.

  • 1992

    A pilot string program is initiated in the fourth grade at the Kokomo-Center Township School Corporation. Kathryn Conner is hired to rebuild the Symphonic Chorus.

  • 1994

    The Endowment Committee sponsors a 5K run/walk fundraiser.

  • 1995

    The budget increases to $149,600.

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