Buiding Community Through Music



The Oshkosh Symphony Orchestra is a non-profit organization that presents

professional musicians to the Oshkosh community in a classical setting.


The mission of the Oshkosh Symphony Orchestra is to build community through music in order to engage, educate, and enrich the lives of those living in Oshkosh, Wisconsin and beyond.


The vision of the Oshkosh Symphony Orchestra is a culturally rich city of

Oshkosh where music is part of community members' daily lives.


The genesis  of the Oshkosh Symphony Orchestra began with Harold W. Arentsen, who came to Oshkosh from Minnesota in 1941 as Supervisor of Music in the Oshkosh Public Schools. The Symphony first took the name Oshkosh Civic Symphony and had 30-40 orchestral members. With the growth of the orchestra to 80 players, concerts were moved to The Grand Theater and then took home in the Alberta Kimball Auditorium.  Maestro Arentsen retired in 1967 after a tenure of 26 years and the baton was passed to Henri B. Pensis in 1968. In that same year the orchestra changed its name to the Oshkosh Symphony Orchestra. During Pensis's tenure the Symphony commissioned and recorded world premieres by two notable composers, Virgil Thompson and Lukas Foss, and performed with world renowned artists such as opera star Robert Merrill and violinist Isaac Stern. Following in the footsteps of Arentsen and Pensis were Maestros Jun Wang in 1997, Dr. William LaRue Jones in 2003, Dr. Jeffrey Meyer in 2008, Andre Gaskins in 2011, and Daniel Black in 2013.

Three major groups were instrumental in securing funds necessary to support the orchestra over the last 75 years - The Oshkosh Women's Symphony Guild, Oshkosh Symphony Association, Oshkosh Symphony League. The OSO Board of Directors and musicians continue to pursue the organization's mission of building community through music in order to engage, educate, and enrich the lives of those living in Oshkosh and beyond. We are indebted to our loyal audience members, generous donors, community partners, volunteers, and the next generation of musicians in our youth programs.

We are most grateful to you, our beloved community, thank you. 

The Oshkosh Symphony celebrated our 75th season in 2017 with the release of our newest recording, Crazy Horse by John Harmon. This release demonstrated the Symphony's commitment to our community by investing and performing music by and with talented musicians living in Wisconsin. CD's are for sale on iTunes and CDBaby or can be purchased by contacting info@oshkoshsymphony.org.