The Renowned Boise Philharmonic Fills Idaho with Music
No matter where one live across the world, music is a fundamental element of human expression. Through music, cultures are preserved, histories are told, and emotions are realized. Music is one of the elements that links the world together. In Idaho, the Boise Philharmonic preserves the music's cultural importance, “The mission of the Boise Philharmonic Association is to musically enrich, entertain and educate the people of our region through performance of symphonic music of the highest quality.”
The Boise Philharmonic, officially established in 1960, has since become Idaho’s largest and oldest musical organization. This Philharmonic has a 70-member professional orchestra with an additional choir. The members of the Boise Philharmonic are recruited from the best music schools and backgrounds from around the country. This expectation of excellence is one of the reasons why the Boise Philharmonic is a fundamental part of classical music in Idaho.
Adolph Ballot was the founder of the Boise Philharmonic Society, a precursor to the current group. Ballot believed back in the 1800's that the Boise community needed more music to enrich the lives of those who lived around him. This simple local violin maker began his dream by gathering those around him who he knew had talent in music. Eventually, he gathered enough musicians together to form an orchestra that started learning music together, and began performing around the community.
As the orchestra began to grow, Ballot considered it a goal to not only perform but also educate beginning Boise musicians. In 1895, he established the Boise Conservatory of Music to accomplish this productive goal. This Conservatory regularly performed an extensive repertoire of music that mostly included traditional classical music such as Tchaikovsky and Mozart. However, when a vocal number was included into one of their concerts, they introduced one of the most remembered songs at the time “Potatoes, they are over there.” They continued to perform around Boise, with their importance in the community increasing exponentially after they performed the closing and favorited song at the traditional Boise Music Week in 1923.
As the early Boise Philharmonic continually grew, so did their fame in not only Idaho but also the United States. In the early 20th century, notable musicians traveled to Boise in order to play with them.
Since then, the Boise Philharmonic has become more known throughout Idaho, becoming a part of the fabic of the state. In 1960, the Boise Philharmonic became an official organization in Idaho.
The Boise Philharmonic now performs for over 50,000 people around the Treasure Valley. They commonly perform at the Morrison Center, the Swayne Auditorium in Nampa, the Jewett Auditorium in Caldwell, and in schools around the state, as well as in smaller recital halls and venues.
Their repertoire now includes fourteen Masterworks concerts per season. Each masterpiece is approximately 2 hours long, so all the musicians need to be dedicated to not only their instrument but spreading the joy of music to stay sharp and focused. Staying with the classics, the Boise Philharmonic includes Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Brahms and Mozart. Also, a tradition of the Boise Philharmonic is to perform works by Idaho composers. In 2013, the Boise Philharmonic performed original works by Idaho composers Jim Cockey and David Alan Earnest.
In addition to performing, the Boise Philharmonic has kept the tradition of educating new musicians. Throughout the years, they have been able to establish many educational programs to enable the community to interact with music. One such organization run by the Boise Philharmonic is the Verde Percussion Group, which is made up of the percussion section of the Boise Philharmonic. The musicians who run this group provide thos of all ages with the opportunity to learn about the theory and performance of instruments in a percussion section.
Clearly an integrate part in the Boise community and now all of Idaho, the Boise Philharmonic has brought a culture and heritage to Idaho musicians. By performing and educating with music, the Boise Philharmonic has started a tradition of music throughout idaho that will continue many years in the future.