The St. Louis Civic Orchestra is a true civic orchestra of 65 amateur and professional musicians devoted to their musical avocation, the performance of traditional, holiday and pops orchestral music. Its mission is to promote and preserve the world’s greatest musical creations through live performances by exceptional musicians in the community.

The Orchestra, founded in 1949, will perform at five different venues during their 2022-2023 season.  The November 5th concert will be at Harris-Stowe State University in the Emerson Performance Center.  Works will include Beethoven, Bedrich Smetana, and Arturo Marquez.  December 3rd’s concert, featuring music by Leroy Anderson, Antonin Dvorak and Florence Price, will be at the First Presbyterian Church in Kirkwood.  The following week, the orchestra will perform at the Galleria Mall in conjunction with the Inner Ear Youth Orchestra.  In February, on the 25th, they will be playing Johann Strauss II, Jennifer Jolly, Omar Thomas, and Brahms at the Kirkwood Performing Arts Center.  The final concert, with the performances of the Florence Frager Young Artist Competition winners as well as Mussorgsky’s Pictures At an Exhibition will be on April 21st will be at the 560 Music Center.  Due to the retirement of Maestro Edward Dolbashian, the Saint Louis Civic Orchestra is auditioning four potential replacement conductors to fill the position of Music Director.  Each concert will be lead by a different candidate:  Michael Mishra (November), TJ Abernathy (December), Elke Overton (February), and Stephen Radcliffe (April) will each take the podium during the concert season.  We also welcome Graham Woodland as our new Concertmaster this season.


For over 70 years, the St. Louis Civic Orchestra has been an important part of the St. Louis metro arts community. Founded in a living room as a string trio, the orchestra gave its first performance on April 20, 1949. The ‘Kirkwood Symphony Orchestra’ was formally founded days later and grew quickly.

From 2002-2006, the orchestra became known as the Clayton Symphony Orchestra, with an affiliation with the School District of Clayton. The concerts were held at the Clayton High School Auditorium. The group adopted the name “St. Louis Civic Orchestra” for the start of the 2008 – 2009 concert season.

Now, the Civic is over 65 members strong and considers its home the Greater St. Louis Metro Area. The Civic looks forward to being an ongoing and active partner in the cultural and educational St. Louis arts community for many more years.