The mission of the Enid Symphony Association is to maintain a symphonic ensemble which will enrich the quality of life in the Greater Enid area and serve as a cultural ambassador to the region and state. This is to be accomplished through the presentation of predominately classical symphonic music to an ever increasing audience representative of the diverse population of our constituent community.
The Enid Symphony Association was established in 1971 to foster the Enid Symphony Orchestra, which was founded in 1906. In 1983 Douglas Newell became the first full-time ESO Music Director and Executive Director of the Enid Symphony Association. Each season the ESO presents a ten performance Subscription Concert series, a free outdoor July performance in Enid’s Meadowlake Park and the Carnegie Hall Link Up educational concerts.
Annually, the ESO reaches audiences in excess of 10,000 from throughout Oklahoma. Although the primary service area of the ESO is Garfield County, the ESO subscriber base encompasses a radius of 128 miles including residents of 11 Oklahoma counties as a primary service area and 6 additional counties as a secondary service area.
Funding for the ESO is derived from subscription and single ticket sales, ESO program booklet advertisements, corporate and private contributions, facility rental revenue, grant monies from public and private foundations and funding from the Oklahoma Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts and ESA Board projects. The ESA is governed by a twelve member Board of Directors.
Performances by the Enid Symphony Orchestra are held in the Enid Symphony Center which is located on the fourth and fifth floors of Enid’s historic second Masonic Temple. The concept for the Enid Symphony Center was envisioned by ESO Music Director Douglas Newell in 1997. Subsequently he led an effort to raise the $3.2 million necessary to create the facility. In addition to the Joan L. Allen Symphony Hall, the ESC houses the Jane Champlin Art Gallery, the Park Avenue Thrift Theatre and the Eleanor Hornbaker Banquet Hall.
The Enid Symphony Center is fully accessible and open to the public at large. In December of 2005, the Enid Symphony Association and Advance Food Company of Enid became co-owners of the building which houses the Enid Symphony Center and offices of Advance Food Company. This co-ownership is the result of one of America’s most creative mutually beneficial alliances between a private business and a non-profit.
The Enid Symphony Orchestra is publicized throughout Northwest Oklahoma via direct mail, commercial and public radio, local and regional newspapers, La Connecion, a Spanish language weekly, the Vance Air Scoop at Vance Air Force Base and commercial and public access television. The ESO and Enid Symphony Center have been featured in such regional and national publications as Oklahoma Today, Southern Living and Symphony magazines.