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Red and purple programme cover for 30th season

30th Season Programme

A variety of concerts were offered in the orchestra’s 30th Season. There was a 4-concert “Orchestral” series, a 3-concert “Choral” series, a “Combination”, as well as a “Pops” (4 concerts).   On October 22, 1977, “Forest and Sky” by Norman Symonds was premiered. This piece had been commissioned by the Ontario Federation of Symphony Orchestras and Ontario Arts Council as a memorial to Dr. Albert Jarvis, who had held leadership roles on the board for fifteen years.

By the end of the 1977/78 concert season, the St. Catharines Symphony Association had become the Niagara Symphony Association, along with name changes to the affiliated organizations. The change was made to better represent the orchestra’s commitment to the entire Niagara Region.

Stuart Laughton, Steven Pettes, and David Marsden look over music

Stuart Laughton, Steven Pettes, David Marsden

Brochure cover for Designer's Showcase

1983 Designers’ Showcase

(Transcript of newspaper article)

In September of 1979, facing a challenging financial future, the Niagara Symphony launched SOS (Save Our Symphony), a region-wide campaign to raise $200,000 for the association. A $5 donation towards to symphony gave the purchaser a receipt for $4 for their income taxes, and four .25¢ tickets to be entered for various prizes. By June the campaign had raised enough funds, along with a two-for-one matching grant from Wintario, to cover the deficit. Now on a more solid financial footing, the association also moved out of Symphony House, and into the Lincoln Arts Centre (Now the Folk Arts Centre).
Leonard Atherton stepped down as music director at the end of the 79/80 season. The board assigned various conductors to each series for the next season, creating an audition process for the next music director. Out of this season, Uri Mayer was appointed to conduct the Great Masters Series in the next season. Guest conductors were featured on the POPS! series and Ermanno Florio was a guest conductor during these years, prior to his appointment as music director.

Headshot of James Vincent Fusco

James Vincent Fusco, Composer-in-Residence

In 1982, the NSO premiered “Symphony No. 1, Symphony From the Wilderness” by composer-in-residence James Vincent Fusco (appointed 1981).

A popular fundraising activity began in 1983, a Designers’ Showcase. Due to its success, this fundraiser continued well into the 1990’s.

Headshot of Uri Mayer

Uri Mayer, Conductor

Our Conductors:

  • Leonard Atherton – 1972-1980
  • Uri Mayer – 1981-1983
    • Graduated from the Academy of Music of Tel Aviv
    • Was a student at the Julliard School of Music
    • Accomplished violist
  • ErmannoFlorio – 1983-1994
    Headshot of Ermanno Florio

    Ermanno Florio, Conductor

    • Born in Italy, grew up in Canada
    • Graduated from the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto


4 board members stand at piano during party

Henderson’s and Bradley’s at Wassail Party


1977 adult $10 – $28 (student $6 – $18)
1986 adult $8 – $45 (student $6 – $36)