About the Orchestra

Mission, History and Board of Directors

Mission Statement

To provide an outlet for musicians to share their love of music in performance, to provide a training ground for young musicians aspiring to play professionally, and to keep our concerts free and open to the public.


The Reading Philharmonic Orchestra was organized in May 1932 by the Reading Recreation Department with H. Augustus Meyer as conductor. In 1962, Wes Fisher became Music Director, and through his efforts, The Reading Philharmonic Orchestra became an affiliate of The Reading Musical Foundation, and was the first group to perform in the outdoor concert series at the Reading Museum. The group continues to be sponsored by the Reading Musical Foundation and starts the Museum outdoor concert series on the first Sunday in June.

In 1997, the Orchestra honored 5 conductors who were influential in the group's development: J. Carl Borelli, Wes Fisher, Henry Gass, Nicholas Geracimos, and Hiram Hoch. Many students and professional players gained valuable experience from and contributed their talents to the group.

The Reading Philharmonic Orchestra consists of musicians of all ages and experience, and includes one of the original members among its numbers. Students of all ages, teachers, and experienced musicians are members. It is an ideal setting for students desiring orchestral experience, adult beginners, adults who wish to resume playing, and experienced musicians who enjoy playing and serve as mentors and leaders for the group. There have been and continue to be family members and spouses in the group and friendships with the common goal of making music are formed.

The repertoire includes a variety of styles from classical to popular. Rehearsals are held every Friday from 7:00pm to 8:45pm from September to June. There are no auditions or fees. There is a variety of concerts throughout the year. Join!

Board of Directors

President Barbara Emery
Vice President Ellen Brown
Secretary Kelly Murphy
Treasurer Ruth Bloom
Music Librarian Sandra Kern
Member Claudia Mahon
Member Judith Chernikovich-Clemens
Member Anna Esser
Member Jose Martinez Barroso
Conductor Michael Slechta