The Durham Symphony was founded in 1976 by Vincent Simonetti, a tuba player with the NC Symphony, creating the Triangle’s first regional community orchestra. Alan Nielson took the baton a few years later, building the group into a semi-professional orchestra and expanding the season to offer 8-10 concerts per year. Today the orchestra has evolved to a professional group of 55 auditioned members, all classically trained. In 2009, William Henry Curry become Music Director of the Symphony. Maestro Curry was resident conductor of the NC Symphony for 20 years, with an exceptional record of commitment to education. He has enriched our mission with his emphasis on diversity in programming and outreach. He is the only African-American Music Director of a symphony in the history of the South, and our concerts reflect his broad experience. We perform Baroque, contemporary symphonic works, Broadway and Hollywood. Our programs include works by American composers, composers of color, and women composers. We enjoy an ongoing and fruitful partnership with the Hayti Heritage Center. Educational concerts and student mentorship programs are another significant component of our work. In addition to our Young Artists competitions and concerts with Kidznotes at the Emily K. Center, we have worked with the Durham Nativity School, the Hillandale Elementary School Choir, and The Art of Cool Project. In November 2019, we awarded our first Stephen Prystowsky/DSO Young Vocalists Award.