Mill Valley Philharmonic (originally known as the Tennessee Valley Orchestra) started in the Fall of 2000 as a string ensemble of 15 players. We quickly became a full orchestra (adding winds, brass and percussion) and have grown to 60 volunteer musicians. Our audiences started out small, but the word is out – we now reach upward of 3,000 people each season. We have performed 140 concerts in almost every community in Marin County, as well as at the SF Zoo and Davies Symphony Hall.
MVP prides itself on having commissioned and presented at least one new work by a contemporary composer (a world premiere) every year since 2002. And over 20 local professional solo artists have performed with the orchestra during our first fifteen years.
Our concerts feature educational talks by artistic director Laurie Cohen as a part of each performance, helping the audience to better appreciate what they are about to hear. Highlights of creative programming during our First Fifteen include: Bird Song in 20th Century Music; A River Trip with the MVP; Man and his Machines; A Tribute to Teachers; Music and Murals of the Works Progress Administration; Poetry/Music; Music of the Americas; Music from the Nordic Circle; Celebrating Women Composers; American Vocal Works; and Cathedral and Temple. Many of these programs have been presented in collaboration with community groups such as environmental organizations, local poets, and choral groups.
MVP and its founder/artistic director Laurie Cohen have received a number of important awards during our First Fifteen, including a “Milley” and a Berklee College of Music Distinguished Alumni Award for Ms. Cohen and the MetLife/American Symphony Award for Excellence in Community Engagement.
Please click on any season on the left to view our past programs.