Late Fall 1968 Sun City Symphony’s first performance in Sun City under founder/conductor Jennings Butterfield took place at Town Hall South Auditorium (now Mountain View Auditorium) in front of a capacity crowd of 1000. Musicians included unpaid professional musicians: seven retirees from the eight-year-old Sun City community, Luke Air Force Base, Flagstaff Symphony and Phoenix Symphony.
Maestro Butterfield passed away in 1982 leaving a tremendous community legacy and the baton passed to Dr. Bernard Goodman, and later to Dr. Eugene Lombardi (1983-1987). From 1988-2006 the orchestra was led by Maestro James Yestadt.
2006 Due to declining revenue, the WVS cancelled its two remaining concerts and the Trustees set about keeping the organization’s framework intact.
2007 A generous bequest from J. E. Donald Hastie of Sun City enabled the WVS to reinvent itself and, after a two-year hiatus, two concerts took place. The positive reception encouraged the Trustees to plan future seasons.
2008 A four-concert series began with two concerts conducted by Maestro Warren Cohen and two concerts conducted by Maestro Cal Stewart Kellogg in the Sun Cities.
2009 Maestro Cal Stewart Kellogg was named Music Director/Conductor of the West Valley Symphony and has become an audience favorite due to his personable style and leadership of the orchestra.
2011 In January the first concert was held at Valley Vista Performing Arts Center in Surprise and has been home to the Symphony since that time.
2018-2019 The West Valley Symphony celebrates our 50th Anniversary with six concerts!
Our name evolved as the NW Valley grew, from the Sun City Symphony Orchestra (1968) to the Sun Cities Symphony (1983), then the Sun Cities Symphony of the West Valley (1997), and, in 2004, to the West Valley Symphony.
Performance Locations: (1968-1980) Sundial Auditorium in Sun City; (1980-2004); Sundome in Sun City West; (2006-2010) Prince of Peace Catholic Church, Shepherd of the Hills United Methodist Church in Sun City West and Faith Presbyterian Church in Sun City; (starting with the 2011-2012 season) Valley Vista Performing Arts Center in Surprise. In 2020, Valley Vista was renamed The Vista Center for the Arts. (The 52nd 2020-21 season got off to a rocky start with the COVID-19 pandemic and the Board cancelled the November/December concerts for the safety of patrons, musicians and staff and then in December cancelled the balance of the season in December 2020.)