The mission of the Muscatine Symphony Orchestra Association is to enrich the cultural life of the Greater Muscatine community by presenting and maintaining symphonic music of the highest quality and by providing comprehensive music education opportunities to the area. It is made up of volunteers and professional musicians, and it has been bringing wonderful concerts to the local citizenry for almost two decades. Not only are there the five MasterWorks concerts during the season, but the orchestra provides a free concert (with fireworks!) on the Fourth of July and another free concert on the first Saturday in December.
The orchestra is an essential part of the cultural life of a great town. The concerts themselves are of a high quality; Brian Dollinger, the conductor, not only strives to bring a variety of themes to the programming schedule to reach as large an audience as possible, but he also does his best to challenge his players, and they live up to his expectations. He initiated a series of concerts in November of multi-media performances where he has demonstrated all the various aspects of listening to a score. In February, romance tends to rule, with more popular music following a gala dinner making the evening a perfect date night. March concerts tend to be more family-oriented, with the Youth Competition winners amazing audience members with their skill. The first and last concerts of the season are more traditional, and they attract loyal and appreciative listeners.
It is not only the music, however, that makes the MSO a vital addition to the local cultural scene. Fundraisers can also be fun. The Wine Walk is on its way to becoming an August must for local enthusiasts, and the Battle of the Chefs at the Symphony of the Arts in September is very popular indeed.
Information about the current schedule is available at the MSO website (muscatinesymphony.org) or on the Facebook page.