Kent Philharmonic Orchestra Mission Statement
The purpose of the Kent Philharmonic Orchestra is to be a symphony orchestra devoted to the performance of symphonic literature. The orchestra provides an outlet for the people who love to perform but do not depend on it for their livelihood. Members who give freely of their time come from all walks of life. All share a common love of performing great music from composers of the past and present.
Musical Director - Libor Ondras, PhD.
Viola recitalist, Music Director of the Kent Philharmonic Orchestra, and Orchestra Director at the Grand Rapids Community College, Dr. Libor Ondras has received his DMA and MM degree from the University of Houston. Recipient of the Slovak Minister of Culture Scholarship, he studied at the Academy of Music in Prague and Moscow State Conservatory with F. Druzhinin and Yuri Bashmet. Ondras performed in master classes and workshops of Pinchas Zuckerman, Yizhak Schotten, Robert Vernon, Roberto Diaz, to name a few. He was a full fellowship recipient at the Aspen Music Festival and the Pacific Music Festival in Japan, and the First Prize Winner of the Concerto Competition, Houston. He performed with orchestras throughout Europe and U.S.: Houston Symphony, New World Symphony, Houston Grand Opera, Vienna Philharmonics, Utah Symphony, Florida Orchestra, Florida Chamber Orchestra, Opera Tampa, Slovak State Opera, etc., and worked with world renown conductors and artists such as Sir Georg Solti (Carnegie Hall Project), Christoph Eschenbach, Michael Tilson Thomas, Placido Domingo, Andrea Bocelli, Renee Fleming, and Led Zeppelin.
About the KPO
The Kent Philharmonic Orchestra, has been in existence since 1975 and started under the name Kent Philharmonia Orchestra. KPO is a college/community symphony orchestra devoted to the performance of symphonic literature. KPO consists of adult community musicians and GRCC students seeking credit. The orchestra performs four major programs per year and membership is by audition or permission of the conductor.
The orchestra operates through Grand Rapids Community College, which provides funding for the conductor, rehearsal space, and in part for support services, concertmaster's salary, printing services, hall rental, music purchase and rental expense, and other miscellaneous expenses. The balance of funding is through ticket sales, donations, and fundraising. Leadership of the Kent Philharmonic Orchestra is provided by its Board of Directors, comprised of members of the orchestra and others outside the orchestra membership, all elected by orchestra members. Concerts are presented in Royce Auditorium at the St. Cecilia Music Center, a collaborative partner with GRCC, as well as other Grand Rapids area venues.