For over 65 years, the Sarasota Orchestra has been entertaining music lovers from around the region, and visitors from around the world. The 80-member Orchestra performs more than 100 classical, pops and family concerts each year, and thrives as the oldest continuing orchestra in the state of Florida. In 2008 the organization unveiled a new name and logo with a package that offers new series, new concerts and a whole new way to experience live music, along with the timeless classics. An arts leader in the community, the Sarasota Orchestra has a dual mission dedicated to exquisite performance and first-class musical education. The Sarasota Orchestra's acclaimed music education program includes the 50-year-old Youth Orchestra, which features five ensembles – the most advanced of which, The Youth Philharmonic, made its Carnegie Hall debut in 2008. The Sarasota Orchestra also offers music lessons for students of all ages and abilities, sponsors multiple community outreach programs and is the parent program of the Sarasota Music Festival. The Orchestra performs more than 125 classical, pops, chamber, education and community engagement concerts per season. Its first concert in 1949 was conducted by Dr. Lyman Wiltse, and under its original name, the Florida West Coast Symphony. Now the longest continuous performing Orchestra in the state of Florida, the organization has provided exceptional music under three previous music directors: Alexander Bloch, Paul Wolfe and Leif Bjaland. In 2008, the organization was renamed as the Sarasota Orchestra and launched new concert formats, vibrant marketing and innovative programming, bringing national attention to the 80-musician ensemble. The organization’s educational activities include a youth orchestra program featuring seven ensembles, Young Person’s Concerts for all area fourth and fifth graders, and a summer music camp. The Sarasota Orchestra also manages the internationally renowned Sarasota Music Festival, under the artistic leadership of Robert Levin. The Sarasota Music Festival is one of the world’s finest teaching festivals for pre-professional classical musicians.