Organizations -> Musical

Vermont Philharmonic Orchestra

Montpelier, VT 05602 (Map) (Set as Local)

Lou Kosma and the Vermont Philharmonic in rehearsal
Lou Kosma and the Vermont Philharmonic in rehearsal

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Central Vermont's Community Orchestra & Resident Orchestra of the Barre
Opera House

Music Director

Louis A. Kosma

Lou Kosma received his degree in music education with applied double bass from Temple University. During the summers of 1967 and 1968, he was a fellowship student at Tanglewood. After teaching for the School District of Philadelphia, he moved to New Jersey and taught in Belleville. From 1976 to 1989, he served as the orchestra and musical show conductor at Holy Family Academy in Bayonne.

Mr. Kosma is presently a member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. He teaches privately and is an adjunct double bass instructor at New Jersey City University. While freelancing from 1976 to 1986, other affiliations included principal bassist for the American Ballet Theatre, Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, and acting principal for the New Jersey Symphony. He was also a member of the Chautauqua Symphony for 17 years. Lou continues to play radio and television jingles and industrials.

He has organized and participated in chamber music concerts and recordings with Music Amici and Alborada Latina. Further, he had donated many services for the Chautauqua Hebrew Congregation and the 1987, 1990, and 1993 "Music For Life" concerts at Carnegie Hall to benefit AIDS research. In March of 2002, the Virtu Foundation honored Lou by naming its first double bass scholarship in his name.

Lou is Music Director and conductor of the Junior Orchestra of the Youth Orchestras of Essex County and has guest conducted several district, regional and all-state festival concerts in New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, North Dakota and Vermont. Since 1995 he has conducted the adult and intermediate orchestras for the New Jersey Summer String Conference at Rowan University and served as Director of the Adult Division of that conference. He guest conducted the Vermont Philharmonic in 1996 and 1999, and was named Music Director of that orchestra in May of 1999. Lou was appointed Music Director and Conductor of the Thurnauer Symphony Orchestra in Tenafly, New Jersey, in May of 2003. In July of 2004 he conducted of the Festival Orchestra at Stokes Forest Music Camp and Festival in Sussex County, NJ.

Lou resides in Teaneck, New Jersey.

History of the Orchestra

Jon Borowicz, emeritus professor of music at Norwich University, had a dream of bringing together local musicians to perform classical symphonic works. His dream was fulfilled in December 1959, when the Vermont Philharmonic played its first public concert, Handel's Messiah in Plumley Armory in Northfield, Vermont. During the next 30 years, the orchestra performed in a wide variety of settings throughout Vermont. The orchestra found a permanent home in the Barre Opera House when it was reopened in 1993.

Professor Borowicz held the baton for nearly 20 years. In 1977, New Zealand native Brian Webb became the orchestra's conductor for the next two decades, stepping down in 1997 to pursue other interests. Northfield's Dan Bruce served as Interim Music Director during the orchestra's two-year search for a new conductor. The Fall of 1999, Louis A. Kosma stepped up to the podium as Music Director of the Vermont Philharmonic and proudly brought Vermont's oldest community orchestra into the 21st Century.

Perhaps the Philharmonic's proudest achievement has been in its support of music in Vermont schools. Many opportunities are offered to students to perform with the orchestra. The Philharmonic annually awards, through audition, a scholarship to an outstanding Vermont high school student of music, who is then the featured soloist in a regular concert. Many scholarship winners have gone on to study music in college and graduate school.

Today, the Philharmonic's member-musicians, some 60 strong and from all walks of life, are committed to the orchestra's two-fold mission of sharing their love of music with audiences of all ages, and encouraging young musicians to dedicate themselves to their musical education so that some might become professional musicians of tomorrow.

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