The New England Symphony Orchestra has served Central Massachusetts for more than 44 years, providing programs for the education, enrichment and pleasure of the citizens and musicians of the region. The orchestra is an independent cultural organization committed to enhancing the quality of life in our communities.

Now entering its 43rd Season, The NESO was founded in 1974 in South Lancaster by Dr. Jon Robertson as the Thayer Conservatory Orchestra. Mark Churchill later succeeded Dr. Robertson and nurtured TCO for the next six years. Following Dr. Robertson's tenure, Francis Wada became the music director of the then named Thayer Symphony Orchestra. From its inception as a community orchestra, the now newly named NESO has provided professional, as well as community volunteer and student musicians, the opportunity to perform in one of the several full size symphony orchestras in New England. The NESO has maintained its core mission to "sustain and develop a symphony orchestra of the highest quality for the education, enrichment and pleasure of the citizens and musicians of Central Massachusetts and beyond."

This performing arts institution is an independent, non-profit cultural organization that does not receive major support from any one source. The NESO is a non-profit organization governed by a volunteer Board of Directors representing the very best that our many communities have to offer. The NESO has become the region's most comprehensive music organization. The many interests who make up the NESO include the Friends of the New England Symphony, who augment our fund-raising activities and assist our professional staff.

The NESO has been recognized by the Massachusetts Cultural Council as a leader in enriching the cultural life of the Commonwealth. The NESO was one of only twenty-nine organizations awarded this special recognition and is one of only eight to receive this distinction two years in a row. This has proudly provided cultural enrichment to this region for over 40 years. As we celebrate our forty-third season, our commitment to enhancing the quality of life in the communities we serve only grows stronger.  The NESO's present Music Director, Roderick MacDonald  is the successor to Maestro Francis Wada who retired after over 30 years of service.