Symphoria returning to Fort Ontario Friday

This 2017 file photo shows co-op orchestra Symphoria performing at Fort Ontario. The ensemble will return to the lake shore this Friday to kick off its 2021-2022 season.

OSWEGO — The sweet summer sounds of Symphoria, central New York’s musician-led, professional symphonic orchestra, will return to Fort Ontario this Friday evening to kick off its 2021-2022 season.

The free Symphoria concert has become a seasonal highlight for Port City music lovers, and organizers say this year’s event will add a few new arrangements — and not just in its setlist. Performing a mix of tunes that ranges from Beethoven to Broadway and Mozart to movie soundtracks, Symphoria in past years has set up with a striking backdrop of Lake Ontario. This weekend’s concert will move inside the fort walls, for what officials are calling a “theater-in-the-round” experience.

“The orchestra is happy to be back live and in person,” Symphoria’s Donna Vickers said. “They haven’t been all together, live, in front of an audience in quite sometime.”

The concert is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., but the Fort Ontario State Historic Site will be open at 5:30 p.m. Picnic baskets and small coolers are encouraged, as no food will be sold on site. Lawn chairs and blankets are also recommended.

Guest conductor Richard Auldon Clark will preside over the performance. Clark is the artistic director and conductor of the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, Manhattan Contemporary Chamber Ensemble and Finger Lakes Chamber Music Festival.

Symphoria is one of only two co-op orchestras in the country. In addition to a regular symphonic ensemble, the troupe offers a choir, wind ensemble, chamber choir and chamber orchestra. Officials describe its mission as to engage and inspire listeners with superlative classical and pop-music performances.

Support for the concert is provided by the Richard S. Shineman Foundation, along with Bousquet Holstein, the Richard Mather Fund, Rapid Response Monitoring and Excellus BlueCross/BlueShield.

The playlist features several patriotic selections that should round out the ambiance of the 18th century citadel. All expertly arranged by some of the industries finest conductor/composers.

O’LOUGHLIN: Star Spangled Banner

GLINKA: Russlan & Ludmilla Overture

LOWDEN: Disney Magic

ANDERSON: Serenata

RICKETT: Highlights from Wicked

COHEN: Hallelujah

LOWDEN: Armed Forces Salute

GOULD: American Salute

ALFORD: Colonel Bogey March

RODGERS: Carousel, Selections

SOUSA: Hail to Spirit of Liberty March

BERLIN/KRESA: God Bless America

SOUSA: Stars and Stripes Forever

A 500-guest limit is in effect due to COVID restrictions and the staff at Fort Ontario asks anyone not vaccinated to please wear a mask.  Fort Ontario is located at 1 E. 4th St. in Oswego.  

For more information call Fort Ontario at (315) 343-4711, or visit the Fort Ontario Historic Site, and or Symphoria Facebook pages.  Also, visit their websites at Fort Ontario/, or

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