Dmc Danbury Music Center Danbury Symphony Danbury Music

On a quiet December night, the first notes of Handel’s Messiah can be heard through out the packed concert hall. Within moments the hall will come alive with the words and Music of what is perhaps one of the greatest Christmas traditions of all time. Here in Danbury, Connecticut however, it is just one of the many achievements of the Danbury Music center.

Begun in 1935 by Donald Tweedy in an effort to bring music to the citizens of Danbury, The Danbury Music Center has become the center of musical culture for the city of Danbury and the surrounding areas. Tweedy began by forming the Danbury Community Chorus and several small musical ensembles. From the beginning the Danbury Musical Center or DMC aimed high. At it’s inception, the Chorus and ensembles performed a series of Concerts and two Gilbert and Sullivan Operettas.

Soon a Youth Chorus was added and the ensembles grew into what by 1940 became a group of polished professional musicians and became what is now known as the Danbury Symphony Orchestra.

In the 1950’s and 60’s John Burnett who was then the director of the symphony Orchestra, wanting to give other lesser skilled musicians an opportunity to perform and share their music started the Danbury Community Orchestra. He also began summer classes to prepare string musicians to play in orchestras, these string classes were soon to become a permanent part of the Danbury musical scene and became known as the Preparatory string orchestra.

Through out the 70’s an 80’s, and 90’s these musical groups continued to perform and gain attention both in Danbury itself and the outlaying areas. The Danbury Symphony Orchestra and the Danbury Chorus performed both in Washington D.C. And Philadelphia for the nations bicentennial celebrations. In the 1990’s the summer band program was added.

In 1996, the DMC set about celebrating their 60th anniversary season with performances throughout the year accumulating on June 1, 1961 with a concert featuring musicians from all the major musical groups. In 1997, the DMC collaborated with the Danbury Opera Company and presented a fully staged performance of Carmen.

Today the Danbury Music center provides local musicians of varying levels of accomplishment an opportunity to perform. Musicians range in age from 8 to 80 with many whole families taking part.

Both the Danbury Symphony Orchestra and the Chorus continue to put on several performances a year. The two most popular are Handel’s Messiah and The Nutcracker Suite which are performed in December to packed houses. The Danbury Community Orchestra performs two concerts per season.

The DMC has also added a Summer enrichment program that was originally designed for children and teenagers, but is seeing more and more adults joining the program. The enrichment program offers includes string ensembles, bands, a chorus and West Afrikaan Drumming.

Most of the concerts during the season are free though there is a small charge to see performances of the Nutcracker.

What began as a small musical group has grown into a series of wonderful programs for people of all ages. The chorus and symphony Orchestra has not only brought music to the citizens of Danbury but to other parts of the country and the world performing in countries such as Austria, Hungry and Yugoslavia.

While the achievements of the Danbury Music center are many, its crowning achievement is that it has given musicians of varying degrees of musical ability the chance to grow in their abilities while sharing their love of music with anyone caring to listen and enjoy.