History & Mission Statement

FSO being Conducted (Compressed)The Florence Symphony Orchestra was born in the spring of 1949 to give local musicians an opportunity to make music together for their own pleasure and for that of the community. A group of music lovers originally came together to form a community band of local musicians. However, the first audition call brought in more string players than winds. It was decided that the band concept would be changed to compliment the talents Florence had to offer, and an orchestra was born. Upon application for membership in the American Symphony League, the organizers were informed that it would be impossible for a town the size of Florence to maintain and support an orchestra. Florence has proven the original decision of the American Symphony League wrong and the orchestra has had 64 wonderful years and counting.

The FSO has grown to be sixty members strong with six performances every year.


Conductors 1949-Present
1949-1955 Haldane Strain
1955-1960 Albert Johnson
1967-1968 Irving Anderson
1960-1990 Dr. Franklin West
1991-1995 Dr. Won Mo Kim
1995-2002 Dr. Benjamin Wood
2003-Present Dr. Terry Roberts







Concert Hosts 1949-Present
1949-1962 McClenaghan High School
1962-1970 Moore Junior High School
1970-1998 West Florence High School Auditorium
1998-2011 Florence Civic Center
2011-Present FMU Performing Arts Center







In 2011, after 62 years of changing concert hosts, the Florence Symphony Orchestra moved into its permanent new home in the Francis Marion Performing Arts Center on South Dargan Street in Florence. The FMU Performing Arts Center is a luxurious 60,000 square foot building with seating for 800 and breathtaking symphonic sounds. The new hall adds something special to the sounds of the Florence Symphony Orchestra's performances and makes each concert more enjoyable.

A call for volunteers to form a community band has lead to over half a century of crowd-pleasing orchestra performances. With six concerts a season, and components such as the Florence Symphony Youth Orchestra and the Florence Symphony Guild, the Florence Symphony Orchestra enriches the cultural quality of Florence and the surrounding areas.