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Before the Camp Fire of 2018 destroyed nearly the entire Town of Paradise, California, it was a small mountain community (population: 26,000) located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, about 90 miles north of the capitol, Sacramento. In 1958, Paradise Recreation District Director Harvey Roth placed a notice in the Paradise News Press inviting local musicians to meet with him. He hoped to organize a symphony in our small town. Eight people responded to his request and the Paradise Community Orchestra was born. Since that time, eight conductors have overseen the growing orchestra which before the fire, consisted of over 50 members, and the Paradise Community Orchestra became the Paradise Symphony Orchestra, with a Paradise Symphony Society and Board to oversee the administration and organization of its activities. The Symphony has several youth education programs to assist young aspiring musicians to develop their musical talents, play stringed instruments, and provide opportunity for annual competition winners to perform with the Orchestra during one of its concerts.
After the fire, the Orchestra was reduced to approximately 40 members, but the Symphony Board and Orchestra remained determined to continue to provide the Paradise Community with fine musical entertainment. The 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 seasons were severely curtailed by the fire and the ensuing COVID-19 Pandemic, but in mid 2021, some of the Pandemic restrictions were lifted and the Orchestra began to perform again. Performances since that time include, a free public concert on May 16, 2021 at the PPAC, a free Patriotic concert on July 4, 2021 at the Paradise Intermediate School Gymnasium, and the regularly scheduled Fundraiser, “Music Under the Stars”, on August 29, 2021. The 2021-2022 Season proceeded as planned and the upcoming 2022-2023 Season is expected to continue on schedule for this concert year.
As the Orchestra has grown over the years, the appreciation of the Community has also increased, and the Orchestra has become a mainstay of the Community. Of course, maintaining a quality symphony orchestra requires extensive resources in people and funding. Attendance at the concerts, while it has also grown significantly, provides only about 10% of the required funding to support the Orchestra. Other funding is provided through commercial Sponsorship, individual Society Membership, and Fundraisers held in the late summer (Aug/Sep) , and mid-winter (Feb) of the year. If you are a Business Owner, we invite you to visit our sponsorship opportunities on the Sponsorship Page and take advantage of the advertising opportunities in sponsoring the Orchestra. If you are a Community member and enjoy excellent, uplifting and inspiring symphonic music, we invite you to consider supporting your orchestra by attending our events and becoming a member of the Paradise Symphony Society. Visit the Membership Page for details. The Camp Fire of November 2018 destroyed much of the Paradise community, and the COVID-19 virus had a substantial impact on the Symphony during the last two seasons. The Paradise Performing Arts Center survived the fire however, and beginning May 16 of 2021 we were able to hold our first live concert at our home venue. We subsequently held an inspiring free Fourth of July Concert at the Paradise Intermediate School Gymnasium for the Paradise Community. We are planning a full season of Concerts and Fundraisers for the Concert year 2022-2023. Your continued financial support is therefore extremely important. Check this website frequently for updates on our fundraiser and concert plans.
The PSS Board also needs volunteers to help with the administration of Board activities, and support of concerts. Visit the Volunteer Opportunities on the Membership Page.
What We Do
Concerts & Fundraisers
For the 2022-2023 Season we will present six scheduled events/concerts, beginning with the Concert scheduled for October 22,23, 2022. All Sunday PSO Only concerts will be at the Paradise Performing Arts Center at 3 pm on the dates indicated on the schedule. We will hold our Summer Fundraiser: Music Under the Stars, at 5 PM at the Veteran’s Memorial Hall in Paradise on August 21,, 2022. Please stay tuned for changes in time and location!
We have openings for the following instruments:
ARLENE HARMS Young Artist COMPETITION Auditions
Outstanding young musicians from Elementary school age up through High School are invited to audition in the Arlene Harms Competition for the George & Patricia Martin “Young Artist Award.” This competition is held annually in the early Spring. Applications this year are due by January 25, 2023. Auditions will be held between Jan. 25 and Feb. 7, 2023.Select the button below to obtain an application. Additional information is available on the Events page under Concerts.
The Paradise Symphony Orchestra invites qualified musicians of all ages to apply for membership in our mentoring program. We are currently taking applications for mentorship in the string sections of the orchestra.
Dr. Lloyd Roby is the Conductor of the Paradise Symphony Orchestra. His love of the Paradise Orchestra stems from the people he has the pleasure of working with in the orchestra, the Symphony Board of Directors, and the many wonderful Community members he has met at PSO functions. “The Board and musicians work so hard and accomplish so much – and the community is so very supportive!” he says enthusiastically. He and his wife Nancy have built a new home in Paradise.
He has a lifelong love of orchestral music. After a brief stint in the Army, he enrolled at Duquesne University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Music Education and prepared for a career in music performance. He also earned his Master of Music from Northwestern University, and his Doctor of Music from Indiana University, graduating with Honors and an extended membership in Phi Kappa Lambda, the national Music Honorary association.
As an instrumentalist, he has performed with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, the Tommy Dorsey Band, Woody Herman’s Thundering Herd, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Sacramento Symphony Orchestra, the Redding Symphony, the Paradise Symphony and entertainers such as the Temptations, Ray Charles, Barry Manilow, Bob Hope, Glen Campbell, Steve Martin, Engelbert Humperdinck, the O’Jays, Vic Damone, Don Rickles, Charo, and others.
Dr. Roby continues to perform as soloist or in Low Brass sections in Northern California with the North State Symphony, the Shasta Symphony Orchestra, the Bird Cage Theatre, InConcert Sierra Orchestra, Sierra Nevada Winds, the California Music Educators Association State Conference, the Grass Valley Paleobones and Community Bands of Chico, Oroville, and Paradise.
Lloyd recently retired as the Low Brass Specialist and Director of Secondary Music Education at California State University, Chico since 1995. During that time, he started or reinstated CSUC’s Low Brass Choir, Pep Band, Wind Ensemble, and String Ensemble. In addition, he has directed the Concert Band and taught classes in Music Theory, Aural Techniques, Basics of Music, Music Appreciation, and Conducting.
As a public educator, he taught several years at elementary and secondary settings in Illinois and Florida. Prior to coming to Chico, he taught at Indiana Wesleyan University. For additional information on Dr. Roby’s career and accomplishments see his complete biography.
PSS Board wins Association of California Symphony Orchestras (ACSO) MVP Volunteer Award for 2021.
This award honors the all volunteer PSS Board for “exemplary volunteers, volunteer projects, and volunteer organizations that support symphony orchestras and classical music organizations.” Sarah Weber, ACSO Executive Director, states, “We are incredibly proud of the awardee and what they have accomplished in the face of great uncertainty during the past two years.”
Winner of the 2012 Outstanding Organization for California Association of Recreation and Parks Districts
This award honors a public or private club or special interest group that has made a significant contribution to a District recreation or park program.
The California Association of Recreation and Parks Districts (CARPD) is comprised of districts extending from San Diego to Mt. Shasta. We were nominated for this statewide recognition by our Paradise Recreation and Parks department who founded us in 1958.
Thanks go to Mike Trinca, former director of the Paradise Recreation and Parks Department for nominating us for this honor and for all the support the PRPD has given us through the years.
There have been 4 to 6 concerts given each year since the formation of the symphony in 1958.