Founded in 1998 by a group of musicians to establish an orchestra to offer modestly priced and FREE concerts for the Staten Island community. The Richmond County Orchestra (RCO) brings a bit of Lincoln Center to Staten Island through its professional productions, creating and maintaining a community of classical music lovers on Staten Island.
Championed by Maestro Alan Aurelia (pictured right), the organization began with a lot of volunteer musicians and staff. By 2002, Richmond County Orchestra was officially paying all of its musicians for their services.
In 2008 Maestro Aurelia and fellow musician Ray Scro developed their Side-By-Side program. An educational outreach program where young music students in local schools get the opportunity to reheasre and perform with the Richmond County Orchestra during a performance. What originally started as one to two songs during a program, became entire productions with students and professionals thanks to CASA (Cultural After-School Adventures) funding from the Department of Cultural Affairs and the NYC City Council. This expanded program began in 2014 at Curtis High School and is now also at Wagner Middle School and Stuyvesant High School. It features multiple weeks of instruction with a culminating performance.
Over our history, Richmond County Orchestra has been able to play many iconic events in NYC.
Some of these historic highlights include: