Historical Highlights

20182018 After several years of Mother’s Day concerts at Mission San Juan Bautista, SVS began a new tradition of celebrating Mother’s Day with an outdoor concert under the canopy at Guglielmo Winery in Morgan Hill.

1972 Six members in Morgan Hill’s Continuing Education music class formed a community orchestra with the aim of developing and preserving local talent. The class was organized by Kathleen Baraclough who served as the orchestra’s first Music Director and Conductor.
1974 Orchestra members performed their first concert for an audience of 35 people at Live Oak High School in December.
1976 Prop. 13 ended Morgan Hill School District support of the orchestra.
1977 Orchestra incorporated as South Valley Symphony Association, Inc. with an 8-member Board of Directors responsible for managing the affairs of the Symphony.
1979 South Valley Symphony attained 501(c)(3) non-profit status with IRS.
1982 First guest artist performed with the Symphony in the Winter Concert
1990 Jason Klein replaced Kathleen Barraclough as Music Director & Conductor.
1991 Arts Alliance was formed with Gavilan College. The orchestra became a ‘for-credit’ class and the SVS Music Director a member of the Gavilan College Faculty.
1998 The Winter Concert saw the first of many performances with Gavilan College Concert Choir under the direction of Phillip Robb.
1999 25th season was celebrated with two Youth Concerts and a joint performance of Peter and the Wolf with the Gavilan College Theater Arts Department.
2000 Henry Mollicone replaced Jason Klein as Music Director & Conductor. During his tenure concerts frequently featured guest soloists, unusual instruments and members of the Symphony orchestra.
2001 SVS Orchestra performed The Messiah with the Oriana Chorale and Gavilan College Concert Choir.
2002 Youth Concert featured the South Valley Suzuki Violin Academy and the Morgan Hill Dance Company.
2004 The Spring Concert presented Mariachi Santa Cecilia.
2005 Anthony Quartuccio replaced Henry Mollicone as Music Director & Conductor. His leadership brought renewed emphasis on young musicians as solo performers at two or more concerts in the season.
2006 The March Family Concert featured the South Valley Ballet. The first Music at the Mission Concert in San Juan Bautista was performed.
2008 The May concert – Opera at the Mission – spotlighted four soloists from Opera San Jose singing familiar favorites by Mozart, Verdi and Rossini. Opera San Jose rejoined the SVS orchestra and Gavilan College Concert Choir for a performance of The Messiah in December.
2009 The winner of the lst Navaroli Young Musicians Competition performed a violin solo in March. A second solo performance by a 16-year old pianist was presented in October.
2011 October’s opening concert featured Dr. David Thompson narrating Aaron Copland’s A Lincoln Portrait. In December, Gavilan College Choir performed Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with the SVS orchestra.
2012 Four winners of the Young Musician’s competition performed solos with the SVS orchestra. A special free concert at Live Oak High School shared the stage with LO Jazz Band. Opera San Jose singers returned to Mission San Juan Bautista for the May concert and in  August the Symphony helped organize and participated in Jackson Academy for math & Music first Music Festival.
2013 In March, Chris Niemann, a gifted young composer – senior at Sobrato H.S. – debuted with the SVS orchestra. The Symphony orchestra and chamber singers from Gilroy and Christopher High Schools with Director, Phil Robb performed to a full house at the May concert in Mission San Juan Bautista.
2024 Amy Norrie, coloratura soprano, thrilled by singing dazzling Strauss songs, Voices of Spring and Cardas