MISSION AND HISTORY
MISSION: The mission of Mill Valley Philharmonic is to enrich the cultural life of Marin County by providing access to quality orchestral programs to people of all ages and means in their own communities.
VISION: As an organization, we believe that music is a vital part of individual and community life. Whether participating as a player or a listener, music engages our imaginative powers, awakens our aesthetic sensibilities, and inspires our creative expression.
HISTORY: Mill Valley Philharmonic was founded by Laurie Cohen in Fall 2000. Starting with 15 string players, the ensemble quickly grew to a full orchestra of 60 auditioned, volunteer musicians. Audiences started small, but today more than 3,500 people attend MVP concerts each season.
In its 19-year history, MVP has performed over 180 concerts, playing in every Marin County community, as well as in varied venues around the Bay Area (e.g. Treasure Island; Bay Model in Sausalito; Discovery Museum; and Angel Island). In addition to standard orchestral repertoire, MVP prides itself on having commissioned and presented 20 world premieres by emerging composers. Local professional soloists, including several from the San Francisco Symphony, perform regularly with MVP. And, numerous performing arts groups have collaborated with MVP, ranging from a Gamelan orchestra to flamenco dancers, a Miwok Indian leader, and several local choruses.
Education plays a prominent role in MVP’s concerts. Informative talks and orchestral demonstrations have been a part of each performance, helping the audience to better appreciate what they are about to hear. Creative, thematic programming has also been a highlight of MVP’s concert seasons, allowing the audience to make connections between the varied compositions. A sampling of MVP’s thematic programming during our 18 seasons includes: Music and Murals of the Works Progress Administration (performed in WPA architectural sites); Rain Dance (MVP’s offerings to End the Drought); Music from the 1915 Panama Pacific Exposition; East meets West at the 1889 Paris World’s Fair (Gamelan’s influence on Western composers); and a Local Parks Tour (outdoor performances of American composers in local state and national parks).