The Pennsylvania Centre Chamber Orchestra Society was founded in 1990 by conductor Dr. Douglas Meyer and musicians Daryl and Lois Durran in State College PA. Their efforts resulted in the first all-professional chamber orchestra in Central PA, beginning with a budget of $3,000 in 1991, and has increased to $136,000 in 2018. Dr. Meyer remained Music Director until his retirement in May of 2013. The PCO became incorporated as a 501(c)(3)corporation in September of 1994 and a Board of Directors of local prominent community members was formed.
For the past 27 years the PCO has performed both rare and well-known music by the greatest composers from the Baroque period to the present day. Our season concerts have grown in number and quality over the years, and we enjoy an excellent reputation in the community and a very loyal audience. In addition to our regular season concerts, the value to the community has increased over the years as we have added a variety of music education and outreach opportunities such as performing at local schools and retirement centers, giving pre-concert lectures, presenting family concerts, and inviting young musicians to perform with the orchestra. We also send our musicians into local schools to perform for hundreds of elementary students annually.
In 2013 the retirement of Douglas Meyer resulted in a national search for a new music director. We were astounded to receive 92 applications for the position from which the search committee chose three finalists who each were invited to conduct one concert with the PCO during our 2014-2015 season. After all three candidates were evaluated by the search committee, musicians, board, and audience, Maestro Yaniv Attar was unanimously appointed our new music director in May of 2015, and he has just completed his fourth year as PCO music director.
Our mission statement from our bylaws is “The mission of the Pennsylvania Chamber Orchestra shall be to provide the Central Pennsylvania region with an artistically superb orchestra and orchestra concerts, as well as to develop an environment where the awareness and appreciation for orchestral music will flourish”.