Performances and Tours
Throughout the year, the KJSO offers several concerts at Chenery Auditorium and outreach performances elsewhere in the community. Every few years, we also embark on a major international tour.
Howard Chenery Auditorium
The Kalamazoo Junior Symphony Orchestra is proud to call Chenery Auditorium home. It was officially dedicated in 1924 as part of the original Kalamazoo Central High School. Always known for its superior acoustics, it has attracted such storied artists as Jascha Heifetz, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Duke Ellington.
The auditorium was first refurbished in 1960. It was painted, given new upholstered seats and the beautiful Austrian crystal chandeliers. In 1973, the Auditorium was renamed for Howard Chenery, the school’s drama teacher for 38 years. In 1991, a state-of-the-art lighting system was installed and in 2010, Chenery underwent a second, 8 million dollar restoration, which improved the acoustics of the space still further, and repositioned seating to accommodate 1,500 audience members.
KJSO international tours are offered about every four years and offer students an immersive cultural experience and unforgettable performance opportunities. They also provide a representation of Kalamazoo’s cultural largesse abroad.
Our students have competed in festivals abroad and have taken home numerous awards and titles:
1982 – The KJSO won first place in the Youth Orchestra Division of the Eleventh Annual International Youth and Music Festival in Vienna, Austria.
1992 – The KJSO won first place in the Open Orchestra Division of the Australian National Eisteddfod held in the capital city of Canberra.
1996 – The KJSO played to packed houses and standing ovations throughout its two-week tour to Brazil.
2014 – brought the orchestra’s first performances in Asia as part of a tour to Beijing and Shanghai, among other cities in China.