Sheldon Bair, Founder and Music Director

About Us

The Susquehanna Symphony Orchestra, a non-profit community orchestra, serves the Harford County community and provides opportunities for local musicians to perform challenging classical repertoire. It was founded in 1978 by Sheldon Bair as the Harford Community Orchestra. In 1982, the name was changed to the Susquehanna Symphony Orchestra.  It is composed of 100 all-volunteer amateur and professional musicians that come from all walks of life and professional endeavors.  In fact, over 700 county residents have played with the SSO since it began.  The SSO presents a four-concert subscription season in addition to one or two “pop” al fresco or benefit events.

The Susquehanna Symphony Orchestra specializes in new and unusual repertoire, often featuring unjustly neglected works. In fact, the SSO has developed a reputation for performing such music. Examples are multi-cultural music by composers such as William Grant Still and David Amram.  Our audiences enjoy the variety of offerings, and the music director explains the music to be performed from the stage.  Composers often attend and provide pre-concert lectures.

Highlights:

  • Carnegie Hall (2009)
  • St. Patrick’s Cathedral (2007)
  • Bach St. John Passion with the Penn State Concert Choir
  • David Finko’s viola and double bass concerto with members of Cleveland Symphony Orchestra
  • All-Eastern MENC Convention in Baltimore
  • MMEA convention (1998 and 1999)

World Premiers:

  • Jesse Ayers  –  Fire of the Living God (2011)
  • Stacey Zyriek  –  I Choose the Mountain (2010)
  • Henry Cowell

Guest performers:

  • Yuja Wang (piano)
  • Edinburgh String Quartet
  • Russian violinist Alexander Skwortsow

Click below to hear and see some performances by the SSO!

Polonaise in A Major by Chopin conducted by Jan Sporek

Vocalize by Kilar conducted by Sheldon Bair and sung by Anna Kostrzynska