When an English woman named Elizabeth Haddon from a Quaker family first gave her name to Haddonfield in about 1701 it probably never went through her mind that the name would be adopted by one of only three professional training orchestras in the USA, alongside the New World Symphony in Miami and Chicago's Civic Orchestra.

Launched in 1952 the orchestra was originally staffed by unpaid volunteers, who did everything from stuffing mail outs into envelopes, helping the members of the audience to find their seats and organising fund-raising; possibly the most important function considering the tiny budget available! Getting by on a shoestring is never easy however, and tensions arose between the musicians and the management which culminated in an all out strike by the former, many of whom resigned and moved elsewhere. Haddonfield Symphony was now at a crossroads; and a decision was made to change its focus to providing a midway facility between college and work in a fully fledged orchestra, as an opportunity for promising music students to gain additional training in the real world. The repertoire is varied and challenging, giving the musicians taste of the hard work and dedication which is a major part of the life of a professional musician, and many of these young people are then able to carry on for a career with major orchestras.

Now known as Symphony in C, and recognized internationally as a world-class training ground, the orchestra's musicians are selected from some of the most respected conservatories and universities in the region such as the Curtis Institute of Music, The Manhattan School of Music, and Princeton University.

 

Copyright 2009 haddonfield-symphony.org

 

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