The idea of forming an orchestra in Grosse Pointe was born early in 1953 when Thomas Nestor, Stanley Scotford and Alois Chronowski were having coffee together. A meeting was held in March at the home of Mrs. Robert MacDonald at which time the idea was further discussed by Bernard Whitley, Thomas Nestor and Mrs. MacDonald. Within a week the resolution was made by Mssrs. Nestor, Whitley, Chronowski, Cass Piotrowski and John Sweeny III to establish the Grosse Pointe Symphony Orchestra Society in order to promote and administer a community orchestra.
The first rehearsal was held at Pierce Junior High School in January, 1954. The first concert was given on Sunday afternoon, March 7th, 1954 at Parcells Junior High School under the direction of Wayne Dunlap, who was also the conductor of the Plymouth Symphony Orchestra. Fred Kendall, tenor at radio station WJR, was the first soloist.
The Orchestra has had as conductors Wayne Dunlap, Henri Nosco (who had been Assistant Concertmaster of Arturo Toscanini's NBC Symphony) and Felix Resnick, who took over as permanent conductor and music director in 1959. At the time of his death, Mr Resnik was serving his 50th year with the Grosse Pointe Symphony Orchestra. Beginning with the 54th season, Mr. Joseph Striplin, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, assumed the position of conductor and musical director.
The Grosse Pointe Orchestra Symphony Society is a Michigan nonprofit corporation and retains its tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3).
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