123 years ago! Imagine the scene, if you will...
Miss Mary D. Fife, a musician, businesswoman and Penacook native, upon returning to New Hampshire from musical study in Chicago, gives impulse to the formation of a group that would bring fine orchestral music to New Hampshire. Initial meetings are held in January 1895 at the home of Mrs. Arthur Clarke. The first formal meeting of the New Hampshire Philharmonic Society is held on Feb 11, 1895, with the Hon. G. Byron Chandler of Amoskeag Bank presiding. A large number of prominent civic leaders make significant financial pledges to guarantee the first concert. At its initial performance, on Friday evening, May 24, 1895, the orchestra performs Haydn's "The Creation." The Manchester Union of May 25, 1895 described the scene: "The exterior of Mechanics' Hall presented an animated scene about 8 o'clock in the evening. The evening was packed solid with humanity, and a stream of hacks deposited their gaily gowned "fares" to add to the surging throng." The article gave a positive review of the concert: "It was a magnificent performance, given before an audience inspiring in point of numbers and enthusiasm, and closed a day abundant with good things in the musical line." The orchestra was led at this first concert by Mr. Henri G. Blaisdell.
Fast forward to this moment in time: the New Hampshire Philharmonic Orchestra is preparing for its third concert of the 2017-18 season: "Carmen! The Concert" on January 27 and 28, 2018 in partnership with Opera NH. In March, the artwork of hundreds of NH elementary school children will be displayed as the orchestra performs Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition," and in May, as we close our 2017-18 season, the Philharmonic Orchestra will come together with the first ever performance by the New Hampshire Philharmonic Chorus (singers from around the state -- including high school students), to present Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.
We reside -- rehearse and perform -- at Pinkerton Academy and the Stockbridge Theater in Derry, NH, but we wish more than ever to bring our concerts to audiences in parts of NH where live, symphonic music is rarely, if ever, performed.
The mission of the New Hampshire Philharmonic Orchestra is to create live, multisensory performances that excite, engage, and educate our audeince. We are more than just music. With your support, the sky is the limit.