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Symphoria embraces hometown pride with rebrand to 'The Syracuse Orchestra'

The Syracuse Orchestra

Symphoria, the group that kept orchestral music alive in central New York after the demise of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, has a new name.

Executive Director Pamela Murchison announced the name change at a Masterworks concert in Syracuse last weekend. The orchestra is now called simply, The Syracuse Orchestra. Murchison said it offers more of a sense of place, of hometown pride.

"Based on the reaction we've had since Saturday, I think that people will continue to be enthusiastic about it," Murchison said. "And as we're developing new audiences, too, I think the simplicity of the new name and of the design will make it easier for us to build new friends."

Symphoria came on the scene after some dark days for orchestral music lovers in central New York. The long-running Syracuse Symphony Orchestra went bankrupt in 2011, but music lovers kept things alive with small concerts in venues around town, until the concept of the cooperative orchestra took hold, with musicians becoming the final decision makers.

Since then, along with traditional masterworks and pop concerts, seasons have been punctuated by casual series creating a more intimate musical experience.

The orchestra stayed viable through the pandemic, but Murchison said they felt a real turnaround in attendance in December, noting a couple of sold-out events since then. While Murchison said the name has been changed, the core battle cry from those Symphoria days, Onward, remains.

"That is I think a large part of the reason why we're still here and able to keep refining things and keep evolving," Murchison said.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.