The History of FCS

A Rich Tradition in Milwaukee

Festival City Symphony is Milwaukee’s oldest symphony orchestra, created over 80 years ago as the Milwaukee Civic Symphony Orchestra by the Civic Music Association. Its mission is to educate the community and extend the reach of classical music with reasonable pricing, interesting themes, and informative formats that embrace people of all ages. Its goal is to encourage the enjoyment and understanding of live classical music performance and build public appreciation for fine arts programming in the community.

In 1993, the Civic Music Association and the Milwaukee Civic Symphony Orchestra mutually agreed the orchestra should reorganize as a separate nonprofit organization. Under its new name, Festival City Symphony, the orchestra performed its premier concert on February 27, 1994, in the historic Pabst Theater.

Today, Festival City Symphony continues to fulfill its original mission to provide low-cost access to quality classical music.

Giving Back to the Community

Festival City Symphony is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, and provides free concerts through our Pajama Jamboree concert series.

The symphony orchestra also offers discounted and free tickets to support service organizations and collects nonperishable food donations for Milwaukee’s Hunger Task Force.

Symphony Sundays — Subscription concerts at the Pabst Theater
Pajama Jamborees — Free concerts for children and their families