Mayor Carleton Carey Sr. and Dover City Council honored the Dover Symphony Orchestra with a certificate of congratulations in honor of entering its 45th year during council's meeting Monday night in City Hall.
The certificate signed by Carey and Council President Tom Leary noted that the orchestra was a landmark organization that has strived to bring live performances of classical and orchestral music to Dover and the rest of Kent Count since its foundation in 1968. Carey formally presented Dover Symphony Orchestra Conductor/Music Director Donald Buxton, Board of Directors President/General Manager Nancy Pikulik, who plays violoncello, and business manager/viola player Cynthia Witt with the city document.
"We just want to wish you congratulations on your 45 years of service and continuing your dedication to the arts in Dover," Carey said.
On May 21, 1968, a group called the Kent County Community Orchestra presented a concert at Wesley College in Dover, according to doversymphony.org. This group was organized through the efforts of several local musicians, including violinists Alex Apostolina and Dr. Winfried Mroz, and a local journalist with a strong interest in the arts, Joyce Mullins. Thomas Flynn, who moved to Pennsylvania that summer, conducted the orchestra's first concert. That fall the group was renamed the Dover Symphony Orchestra and Ron Shomo, who was band director at Dover High School, became the conductor. Don Winslow was the first president of the new orchestra, which was incorporated in 1970.
The first Young People's Concert was presented in 1972, the first of many such concerts narrated by Betty May Hamilton, who also served as president from 1972 to 1988.
As noted by the council resolution, hundreds of musicians from all walks of life had committed countless volunteer hours to rehearse and perform for central Delaware audiences.