About Us

MISSION STATEMENT: We are a professional orchestra serving Northern Michigan, creating educational opportunities and community enrichment through excellence in symphonic and other musical experiences.

VISION STATEMENT: To be a cultural model for the region, exciting a diverse and growing audience through artistic excellence, strong leadership and sustainable operations.

The Traverse Symphony Orchestra is northern Michigan’s leading regional performing arts ensemble. It is a professional, part-time orchestra with a core base of quality musicians from throughout the area. Many hold music-related positions as faculty and staff members of nearby Interlochen Center for the Arts and regional school districts. An increasing number of musicians travel from as far as Lansing, Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor to perform with the orchestra. Music Director Kevin Rhodes has led the orchestra to critical acclaim during his 20 year tenure. Under his leadership, the orchestra has created an innovative season of concerts featuring leading guest artists from the national and international circuit.


Traverse Symphony Orchestra GuideStar Profile

For assistance, please contact Executive Director Kedrik Merwin at 231-947-7120 or kmerwin@traversesymphony.org.

Traverse Symphony Orchestra is a proud member of

Traverse Connect

Original Traverse Symphony OrchestraPictured above: 1952; the original Traverse Symphony Orchestra. Elnora Milliken was the Concertmistress.


The Symphony is comprised of a full-time professional staff of three, a part-time staff of four, and 60-plus contracted core musicians. A 20-member Board of Directors and a committed group of volunteers provide ongoing support for the organization. The Symphony is a non-profit corporation supported through memberships, ticket sales, donations, corporate sponsorships, and grants.

The orchestra was founded in 1952 by Traverse City violinist Elnora Milliken as a community amateur ensemble. It evolved into a professional regional symphony under the direction of Maestro Kevin Rhodes.

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