The mission of Symphonicity is to provide high quality music for everyone, to afford an opportunity for performers, and to educate young musicians.
What an awesome concert tonight! We thoroughly
enjoyed it. :) - Lisa Russo
The History of Symphonicity
In the summer of 1981, a group of 35 area musicians formed the Virginia Beach Community Orchestra. Its purpose was to provide a challenging performance experience for area musicians and to meet the need for low cost, quality concerts in our community. Ten years later, the name of the orchestra was changed to The Virginia Beach Symphony Orchestra to demonstrate the growth and quality of the organization, which had blossomed to over 100 members who give freely of their time and talents. In 2007, the name was changed to Symphonicity, the Symphony Orchestra of Virginia Beach, to reflect who we are and embrace our differences and similarities.
We come from different cities, states and countries. We are teachers, business professionals, homemakers, composers and much more. We are different in age, race and religion, but we all have two things in common: our love of music and our love of this community. The orchestra performs 12 concerts per year at various venues in Virginia Beach. In 1993, the Virginia Beach Symphony Orchestra League was founded to cultivate support for the orchestra. In 2000 and 2008, the Virginia Beach Symphony Orchestra (Symphonicity) was nominated for a Governor’s Award for the Arts. In June 2002, Music Director David S. Kunkel accepted a Third Place Award for Adventurous Programming given by ASCAP and the American Symphony Orchestra League (ASOL) at the annual conference of ASOL in Philadelphia. Symphonicity is a resident performing arts group at the Sandler Center for the Arts in the Town Center of Virginia Beach.
Our Founding Maestro, David S. Kunkel
As its founding conductor in 1981, David S. Kunkel managed the growth of Symphonicity (formerly the Virginia Beach Symphony Orchestra), taking it from a modest group of volunteers to a professional quality orchestra. Under his leadership, the orchestra performs four subscription concerts annually, a children’s concert, a Messiah Sing-along, and five summer concerts at the Virginia Beach oceanfront, including the 4th of July Spectacular.
Mr. Kunkel is a native of Pennsylvania and began conducting in high school. He graduated from the Navy School of Music and served as pianist in Navy bands in Boston and Iceland. Mr. Kunkel’s other positions in the Navy include Director of the Navy’s premier jazz band, The Commodores; Associate Conductor of the United States Navy Band in Washington DC; and Conducting Instructor at the Armed Forces School of Music. After 35 years at the baton, Maestro Kunkel has retired and is now Music Director and Conductor Emeritus. Symphonicity will be showcasing the five finalists next season as part of the process of selecting a new conductor.
In 1984, Mr. Kunkel retired from the Navy. He has since served on the Virginia Beach Public Schools’ Advisory Committee for the Gifted and Talented, and as Dean of the Tidewater Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. He held the position of Music Director of the Virginia Musical Theater for five years, and Music Director of the Virginia Savoyards for six years. Mr. Kunkel was instrumental in coordinating the “grass-roots” community support of the construction of the Performing Arts Theater in Town Center. Currently, he is a member of the Virginia Beach Performing Arts Theater Advisory Committee, serving on the Design sub-committee. Presently, Mr. Kunkel divides his time between positions as Music Director and Choirmaster of the First Presbyterian Church of Virginia Beach and Music Director and Conductor Emeritus of the Virginia Beach Symphony Orchestra.
Learn more about our search for Symphonicity’s next maestro… Read about “A Quest for the Best” 2016-2017 Season
Symphonicity Location and Hours
While we are a resident company of the Sandler Center, our physical office is located elsewhere in Virginia Beach Town Center. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of our performances, auditions, or events, feel free to give us a call during our regular hours during the week.
291 Independence Blvd. Ste 421, Virginia Beach, VA 23462