Musical Memories: Quad City Symphony Orchestra celebrates 100 Years

The Quad City Symphony Orchestra, or the QCSO, is celebrating its 100th anniversary! This makes the group one of only twenty longest-established, continuously operating orchestral associations in the United States. That’s a big deal! Many orchestras may claim a longer history, but to run continuously is no easy feat — especially when you consider that they were still fairly young (only 14) when the Great Depression hit.

The group is currently made up of an average of 80 musicians and has had only 11 directors in its history. Music education is a priority for the QCSO, and many of the musicians are also faculty at the following institutions: University of Minnesota (Minneapolis), University of Iowa (Iowa City), St. Ambrose University (Davenport), Augustana College (Rock Island), and Western Illinois University (Macomb). On top of that, for over 50 years, music education outreach groups have performed for Iowa and Illinois students. They even founded a youth version of the orchestra in 1958, and have since added four more opportunities for area youth to participate!

If you want to hear more about its history, hop on over to their 100 years 100 stories page. You can listen to recordings of memories, musical performances, and other important events in the QCSO’s long history. Don’t forget to check out the schedule for upcoming performances; there’s sure to be some history-making moments in store for their 100th anniversary celebrations.

Tri-City Symphony Orchestra radio broadcast live from the Masonic Temple in Davenport, January 31, 1948

Tri-City Symphony Orchestra radio broadcast live from the Masonic Temple in Davenport, January 31, 1948

Want to learn more about our Quad City Symphony Orchestra here at the Richarsdon-Sloane Special Collections Center?  Visit us and check out these resources:

  • 2009-08 Esther Mae Plumb Collection – photographs from a scrapbook kept by a renowned local vocalist who performed with the QCSO
  • A collection of Tri-City Symphony Orchestra programs, 1916-present
  • Several recipe books sold as fundraisers for the Symphony
  • McDonald, Donald. A History of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra Celebrating the Art of Sound for Seventy-Five Years. Bawden Printing, Inc., 1989.   SC MCD 784.2
  • Johnson, James Melvin. The history of the Tri-city Symphony Orchestra of Davenport, Iowa, Rock Island and Moline, Illinois, 1976.  SC 785 Joh
  • Tri-City Symphony Orchestra (Davenport, Iowa). Notes and records of the first years of the Tri-City Symphony, 1916-1929. [Davenport, Iowa : Tri-City Symphony Orchestra], 1929.  SC 785 Tri
  • Music CD: Quad City Symphony Orchestra.  SC CD 784.2 QUA
  • Videorecording: KWQC-TV6 news 02/05/05 6pm news story : QC symphony performance.  SC VC 070.43 KWQ

(posted by Jessica)

This entry was posted in Local History and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *