The Belleville Philharmonic Society was founded on November 19th, 1866. The Philharmonic presented its first concert on January 26, 1867. The Society's first conductor was Theodore Decker, who began the annual schedule of concerts that is unbroken to this day--making the Belleville Philharmonic Orchestra the nation's second oldest symphony orchestra in continuous operation. The orchestra was comprised of talented volunteer musicians who made distinguished contributions to the community in a wide range of vocations, and the same can be said of the Society's various ensembles today.
In 1962, the Society added a youth orchestra directed by George Tuerck and in 1966 the Society added the Philharmonic Chorale directed by Charles Laughlin.
Historic Philharmonic Hall has been owned by the Society since 1899 and is used for both rehearsals and some performances and recitals.
In 1995, Robert Charles Howard, Associate Professor of Music at Saint Louis Community College at Meramec, stepped onto the Society podium to become the 22nd Conductor of the Belleville Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorale.
Dr Leon Burke III conducts the Belleville Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.
The Belleville Philharmonic Society is always looking for new performers and volunteers. Visit our Contact Us page if you are interested in volunteering, or send us an email (see below). If you are interested in joining us as a performer, please visit the Perform With Us page linked above.
Donate today to keep us going for another 100 years!
Call (618) 235-5600
Belleville Philharmonic Society
116 N. Jackson Street
Belleville, Illinois 62220