Here the orchestra is pictured at its first public appearance in the 50s under Alexander Bloch.
Alexander Bloch, first permanent conductor, 1951 to 1961; Paul Wolfe, second permanent conductor, 1961 to 1995; Leif Bjaland, third permanent conductor, 1997 to 2011; Anu Tali, fourth permanent conductor, 2013 to present
Sarasota Orchestra founders Dr. W.D. Sugg, George Gibbs, Ruth Cotton Butler and Sam Hill
The first formal concert of the FWCS Youth Orchestra was held in 1960. Pictured is the Youth Orchestra in rehearsal in 1978.
David Cohen, the concertmaster in the early years of FWCS and a man who did everything from manage business to stagehand, was a city commissioner and mayor in 1970 that led the movement along with the Allied Arts Council to build what is now Van Wezel Perofrming Arts Hall. He was devoted to the orchestra for more than 30 years, and in 1971 they honored