Photo by Joel Plotkin
As Alan Jordan settles into his new post as executive director of the Delaware Symphony Orchestra, the New Jersey native seems perturbed. He believes that, despite more than a century of concerts and performances across the state, the symphony is still viewed mainly as a Wilmington organization.
“The orchestra has a very long history—some 111 years as of 2015—and while the name would imply that we serve the entire state, the nearly complete opinion within the organization is that we need to better serve all of Delaware,” Jordan says.
“That won’t happen overnight, but bit by bit we want to fill cultural voids outside of New Castle County.”
Of primary concern are scouting venues and working out the logistics of fitting 85 players onto a stage while leaving enough seats in an audience to make a show feasible. But Jordan believes that partnering with local organizations interested in sharing music with their friends and patrons is something that can be accomplished.
“We’ve always had a very robust education outreach program, and I think that can help as we look to expand our program throughout the state,” Jordan says. “But we can also explore other programming options, both here in Wilmington and statewide, like family concerts, pop music programs and even outdoor performances.”
Despite a financial crisis that forced cancellation of the 2012 season, the Delaware Symphony Orchestra is in the midst of a robust season of chamber concerts and a classics series. As the audience returns to see the DSO in action, Jordan, who helped grow the Vermont Symphony Orchestra during his 16-year tenure as executive director in Burlington, is reminded of what an orchestra can offer the public.
“Whether you’re a Beethoven fan, pop music fan or fan of the classics, there is something extraordinary about experiencing nearly 90 musicians all working together in a patchwork of sounds that makes sense to one’s ears,” Jordan says. “Now more than ever people are looking for a form of entertainment that is intellectually stimulating, and we can provide that.”