The purpose of the Fort Worth Civic Orchestra is to provide the community with an accessible listening and educational experience of quality symphonic music, while offering an outlet for musicians who desire to perform as an avocation.
The Early Years of the Fort Worth Civic Orchestra:
The Fort Worth Civic Orchestra began as a group of volunteer musicians in the community who came together to form a “reading orchestra” to rehearse classical music. In 1977, the Fort Worth Civic Orchestra was officially formed under the direction of Yves L’Helgoual’ch and began performing publicly with the mission of providing the community with classical music at a reasonable price. In the spirit of creating a musical outlet for adult, amateur musicians, Yves L’Helgoual’ch grew the orchestra to 65 loyal members during his term as conductor. The orchestra is formed of musicians from various cities in North Central Texas and the members include teachers, students, retired professional musicians, as well as business professionals and homemakers.
The Growing Years:
In 1992, Marion Nesvadba became musical director of the FWCO and led the orchestra in its continuing mission to enrich the orchestral experience of young students and musicians. Sponsored by grants from the Arts Council of Fort Worth & Tarrant County, the FWCO provided an Honors Program for the Fort Worth ISD Music Department, as well as bringing a mixture of classical and jazz music to East Tarrant County in conjunction with the Texas Wesleyan School of Fine & Performing Arts. With the help of many sponsors in the community, the FWCO provides free tickets and transportation to children living in shelters for a children’s concert during the holidays. The Fort Worth Civic Orchestra celebrated its 25th year of music making in 2002 by welcoming a new Director of Music and Conductor, Dr. Kurt A. Sprenger. Dr. Sprenger, with good humor and musical expertise, enthusiastically continues the tradition of bringing musicians from diverse backgrounds and abilities together for the love of making music.
Where We Are Going:
During the 2009-2010 season, the FWCO entered a new era when they moved to their new home at the Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary. Still an independently operated community orchestra, our association with the Seminary brings together rehearsal space, performance venues, offices, and storage all in one location and our orchestra’s ranks are open to Seminary students who are able to gain school credit for playing in the orchestra. Also SWBTS conducting students have opportunities to gather experience on the podium. The Fort Worth Orchestra is still growing and hopes to reach more people in the community with each season.