The Tampa Bay Symphony was founded in 1986 as a non-profit, tax-exempt corporation. The 80+ musicians, all of whom are volunteers, come from many walks of life and all ages. Teachers, lawyers, doctors, housewives, and of course, students and retirees are among those represented. In 2012, Mark Sforzini was appointed Music Director and Conductor, replacing Dr. Jack Heller who led the orchestra the previous 25 years. Sforzini is well recognized in the Tampa Bay Community and is also the Artistic Director of the St. Petersburg Opera. The mission of the Tampa Bay Symphony is to promote interest in classical music in the Tampa Bay area, to encourage and educate youth throughout Florida with a “Young Artist Competition” and by other means, to provide an opportunity for qualified volunteer musicians of all ages to perform challenging symphonic music and to enhance and enrich the artistic and cultural life of our community. In order to provide the community with an opportunity to hear quality symphonic music at an affordable price, the Tampa Bay Symphony produces three major programs in Clearwater, St. Petersburg and Tampa venues. It also is available to perform at local festivals and civic functions.