The Berkeley Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1969 as the Berkeley Promenade Orchestra by Thomas Rarick. The mission of Berkeley Symphony is to perform symphonic music that engages the intellect, sparks the curiosity, and delights the spirit of our unique community. Recognized nationally for its spirited programming, Berkeley Symphony has established a reputation for presenting major new works for orchestra alongside fresh interpretations of the classical European repertoire. It has been honored with an Adventurous Programming Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) in nine of the past eleven seasons. A national leader in music education, the Orchestra partners with the Berkeley Unified School District to produce the award-winning Music in the Schools program, providing comprehensive, age-appropriate music curricula to more than 4,000 local elementary students each year.