Our original orchestra was known as the Troy Community Orchestra (TCO) and functioned between December 1982 and May 1994.
After the TCO disbanded, violinist Paula Savaglio sought to find a new Director and a place to hold rehearsals. Her perseverance eventually led her to the Royal Oak Neighborhood Schools, where she met Mr. Peter Tolias of Kimball High School, who became the director/conductor of what is now known as the Royal Oak Symphony Orchestra.
The first rehearsal was held in September of 1995. The membership of the orchestra is comprised of residents from Royal Oak and surrounding communities. Our group members come from a variety of professions, and greatly enjoy playing and bringing music to the Royal Oak area. We are celebrating our 20th year in the Royal Oak area.
Music Director/Conductor for the 2014-2015 Season
Mr. Robertson is Director of Orchestras for Berkley High School and Norup International School. He also serves as conductor for The Detroit Metropolitan Youth Symphony and coaches advanced ensembles at the Orion Chamber Music Society summer camp.
Mr. Robertson is the 2013 MSBOA District IV Orchestra Director of the Year and will be performing at Carnegie Hall with the Berkley High School orchestras. Recent honors include conducting the American premiere of ‘My Name is Anne Frank’, a cantata produced by the Holocaust Memorial Center in Farmington Hills, and being included in a University of Washington dissertation as one of the most successful school orchestra directors in the United States.
Mr. Robertson holds a Bachelors Degree in Violin Performance from Connecticut’s Hartt School of Music and a Masters Degree in Orchestral Conducting from Oakland University. His instructors include Dr. Gregory Cunningham, Mitchell Stern of the Orpheus Chamber Ensemble, Eugene Drucker of the Emerson String Quartet, and renowned conductor and violinist Sydney Harth. As a performer, he has received many honors and awards and his orchestras consistently earn top ratings at national and state competitions.
Along with his passion for music and teaching, Mr. Robertson practices martial arts and enjoys spending time with his wife and five children.
John Robertson, our Music Director/Conductor from 2006 -2012 remains with the orchestra as its Conductor Emeritus. Mr. Robertson teaches orchestra for the Berkley School District and is music director for The Detroit Metropolitan Youth Symphony.
Dr. John Dovaras, our Music Director/Conductor from 2002 -2006 remains with the orchestra as its Conductor Emeritus. His experience, knowledge of music, and professionalism during his four years of leadership have been a great benefit to the Orchestra. His contribution to the Royal Oak Symphony Orchestra has made a lasting impression on all its members. We thank him for his years with us.
Peter Tolias, our former Music Director and Conductor, remains with the orchestra as its Conductor Emeritus. His experience with the group, as well as his expertise in the music field, is of great value to the orchestra.
Philosophy The ensemble is a cultural offering to Royal Oak and our neighboring communities. Formed specifically for area musicians who desire to continue making music a life long avocation, its purpose was broadened to offer its listeners opportunities to hear live performances of musical masterworks which have survived and been appreciated by audiences for hundreds of years. The orchestra is comprised of adults of all ages and professions. We hope you will like our contributions.
Community Participation The Royal Oak Symphony Orchestra is possible only through audience support and the generosity of individuals and companies. All donations are tax deductible and will be acknowledged in the 2012-2013 season program unless we are otherwise instructed. Contributions should be made to The Royal Oak Symphony Orchestra and mailed to P.O. Box 1738, Royal Oak, Michigan 48068-1738.