Welcome to the Grande Prairie Symphony Orchestra

The Grande Prairie Symphony Orchestra began rehearsals in September 2015 and has been active for two years. The impetus for the formation of the orchestra has been the strong school string programs in the Grande Prairie Public Schools led by Krista McLauchlan, Amber Gallagher, Tasha Zboya, Heather Penner, and Chris Gallagher. The string players in these programs and graduating out of these programs need a community orchestra to allow them to continue to perform. There is also a thriving community of string teachers teaching privately and the students of those teachers taking private lessons also need an opportunity to play in an orchestra. Grande Prairie, a city of 70,000 people, needs an orchestra to serve the musical needs of the community as the closest major centre is five hours away.

The Orchestra has been discussed by many of the music directors in Grande Prairie for a number of years. Grande Prairie had an active symphony orchestra from 1980-87 and an active string orchestra from 2006-07 and from 2010-12. The current orchestra was inspired by the pit orchestras for the GPLT production of Les Miserables and the Charles Spencer High School production of Oklahoma in 2015. Many of the woodwind, brass, and percussion players who perform with the orchestra are drawn from the GPRC wind and jazz ensembles, directed by Dr. Bob Howey, and the Grande Prairie Composite High School, Charles Spencer High School, and St. Joseph High School bands directed by Craig McLauchlan, Lyndsey Mitchell, and Pat Zmean, respectively.

The orchestra has performed concerts in November 2015, April 2016, and November 2016 and will perform in April 2017. The orchestra also provided the majority of the musicians for the Cirque De Musica Concert held on November 27, 2016. The orchestra is dedicated to providing family entertainment at their concerts and has continued to feature free admission for children 12 and under. During the past year, such selections as Peter and the Wolf and Carnival of the Animals have been chosen to add a strong family element to the concerts.

The orchestra is looking to gain society status in the coming year and continue to develop a core of players on a variety of instruments to enhance the musical scene in Grande Prairie. The orchestra is looking to attract more performers on violin, viola, cello, and bass especially as well as woodwinds, brass, and percussion.

Grande Prairie Symphony Orchestra Photo Gallery