For 84 years, the Rio Hondo Symphony has thrilled Southern California audiences. Founded by Ruth Haroldson, a violin instructor at Whittier College, the orchestra has provided music, free of admission fees, to visitors from various communities. First called the Whittier Symphony, in 1964 the orchestra acknowledged the wider audience by renaming itself the Rio Hondo Symphony. Today the symphony is sponsored by Whitter, Pico Rivera, Santa Fe Springs, and by Rio Hondo College. It is also supported by hundreds of individuals and businesses.
The mission of the Rio Hondo Symphony Association is to enrich the cultural life of the community it serves, to expand the musical knowledge of youth and adults, and to provide an outlet for the talents of musicians in the greater Southern California area through the performance of symphonic music.
Four concerts are performed yearly at the Vic Lopez Auditorium at Whittier High School in Whittier.
Our Conductor Kimo Furumoto
Kimo Furumoto currently is in his eighth season as the Rio Hondo Symphony's Conductor and Music Director.
A dynamic and enthusiastic conductor, Furumoto is widely known for his innovative programing. For the last 14 years he has been the Conductor and Music Director of the Huntington Symphony Orchestra in West Virginia. Furumoto is an Associate Professor at Cal State Fullerton where he is Music Director of the University's orchestra and opera theater. During his career he has served as Assistant Conductor of the Lyric Mountain Festival for the Performong Arts and the Lexington Philharmonic.
Furumoto holds conducting degrees from Chapman University and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. More...
Message from Conductor Kimo Furumoto at the RHSA Annual Meeting on June 11, 2016
As I reflect on the past 7 years as Music Director of the Rio Hondo Symphony I am grateful and honored to have served in this capacity in bringing exciting programs of live symphonic music to our community. I am very proud of the artistic accomplishments of our wonderful musicians who comprise the orchestra and look forward to many more years of collaboration with them. Personally, this past year included some wonderful experiences in the travels I took to Europe, Japan and conducting a concert in the famed Carnegie Hall in New York City. The musical performances that I witnessed or was directly involved with in all these places no matter how illustrious had essentially the same impact on the people who came as those who come to the Rio Hondo Symphony concerts. The music moves us to jubilation, to relaxation, to tears, to utter peace and a whole myriad of human emotions that are a basic need for human beings to feel and express. This is what the Rio Hondo Symphony provides to our community. It is not just cultural enrichment of the concertgoers but an essential conduit to these elements that connect all humanity.
Our new season features music and programs that are very familiar in some cases, new in others and sometimes with just a little twist but always engaging and moving.