Mission

To share the joy of great musical performance with our audience – together we are music.

History

Now in its 64th season, Augusta Symphony is the primary professional orchestra for the 550,000 residents of Augusta’s River Region and pursues its mission through annual symphonic, Pops, and chamber concerts that reach approximately 20,000 people each year. Via its education and outreach programs, Augusta Symphony further strives to foster broad accessibility to live classical music performance and a lifelong appreciation of the art form among people of all ages, backgrounds, and means. Augusta Symphony’s outreach programs currently serve approximately 27,000 youth and adults in communities within a 75-mile radius from Augusta.

Founded in 1954 under the baton of Music Director Harry M. Jacobs, Augusta Symphony has evolved from a small group of 15 musicians to an 85-member professional ensemble and leading regional orchestra. The Augusta Symphony has been led by four talented conductors: Harry Jacobs until 1991, Donald Portnoy from 1991-2009, Shizuo Z Kuwahara from 2009-2016, and Maestro Dirk Meyer, who is in his second season as Music Director. During its sixty-four years of growth, Augusta Symphony’s musicianship has enhanced, the acoustic quality of its performances has improved, and programming and outreach have increased to broaden Augusta Symphony’s role in the community and engage audiences of all ages and levels of music knowledge. None of this progress would have been possible without the support of three dedicated groups of volunteers: the Augusta Symphony Guild, the Augusta Symphony League, and Friends of the Augusta Symphony, along with the support of all of our donors and patrons.

The Miller Theater is the home of all Symphony Series and Pops! performances and features a multitude of varied programming throughout the year. It was built in downtown Augusta in 1940 as an Art Moderne movie theater and vaudeville house and operated until 1984.  In 2008, Peter S. Knox IV  donated the Miller Theater to the Augusta Symphony to be revitalized as a performance venue and home.  The restoration was the result of a 23 million capital campaign, made possible by the generosity of individuals, corporations, foundations, SPLOST funding, and state and federal historic tax incentives,  Construction took place in 2016-2017, and the Miller Theater reopened with a grand Opening Night Gala on January 6, 2018.  Learn more about the Miller at millertheateraugusta.com.

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