The NEW ORLEANS CIVIC SYMPHONY (NOCS) is dedicated to providing a large variety of live orchestral music to the Greater New Orleans Area.
Founded in the 1940s, the NOCS has always been a venue for volunteer musicians – young and old – from all walks of life. The musicians meet simply for the enjoyment of making music together! The orchestra offers an opportunity for new, young talent to develop their skills as well as for older musicians to exhibit skills, which took many years to develop.
In the In the 1950s, 60s, and early 70s, the orchestra operated under the auspices of the New Orleans Recreation Department (NORD). In 1974, the group separated itself from NORD and became a tax exempt organization so it could receive donations and increase its range of activities.
Elections are taken annually to fill the positions of President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary, and several members of the Board.
The NOCS has three major goals. The first is to provide great, live classical music for area audiences regardless of their ability to pay. That is why there is no charge for the performances. The second is to allow musicians who love classical music but may still be students or have other jobs the opportunity to participate in a fully staffed community orchestra. The third goal is to be the best, most professional volunteer orchestra presenting music of the world’s greatest composers, along with new and experimental pieces.
In a relatively recent development, the NOCS invites each year’s winner of the New Orleans Piano Institute’s Concerto Competition and Keyboard Festival to join it in concert. The competition is sponsored by the Musical Arts Society of New Orleans. Among the soloists in this program were local favorites Harry Connick, Jr., and Wynton Marsalis among others.