The mission of the Daytona Beach Symphony Society is to bring the excitement of classical and modern music, dance and opera to the widest possible audience. We inspire and encourage the students of Volusia County to develop an appreciation for music. By bringing the highest quality national and international symphonic orchestras and soloists to Volusia County we generate an awareness and appreciation of music, dance and opera for all residents and visitors.
A Brief History
In 1952 a small group of music enthusiasts headed by the late publisher of the Daytona Beach News-Journal, Julius Davidson, saw a need to “foster and promote musical works.” They realized there could be no responsible growth and development of our area without a significant cultural base. The result was the Daytona Beach Symphony Society, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to enriching the community with a wide range of musical and artistic programs.
The Symphony Guild was formed in 1955. The all-volunteer group created awareness of the Society through a series of Concert Previews, an annual gala, and numerous fundraisers/social gatherings. The Guild, with over 325 members, raises $20,000 – $30,000 for the Symphony Society each year.
In the 1960s the three-concert series was expanded to a six-concert season from October to April. The Symphony Society participated in a young person’s concert, giving every Volusia County 5th grader an opportunity to attend a free special concert.
In the 1980s the Symphony Society broadened its programming and began presenting the finest national and international orchestras. It continued to pursue a dual mission of presenting the finest international talent while ensuring that the best regional talent was also included.
In 1996 the Society founded the Youth Experiencing Symphony (YES.!) program, which enables thousands of students to attend free concerts each year.
The Daytona Beach Symphony Society Endowment was established in 2003 to assist in providing permanent support to the Daytona Beach Symphony Society. It attracts charitable funds, chiefly in the form of permanent endowments and testamentary giving and is overseen by the Board of Directors Endowment Committee.
The Board of Directors, Artistic Advisory Council and the Symphony Guild contribute their financial support, time and talent to support the Symphony Society’s mission, programs and services.