About Us

Your Community. Your Orchestra.

“[I have] rarely worked with a community orchestra that played with such enthusiasm and commitment.” - Garrick Ohlsson

The Bellingham Symphony Orchestra is led by Music Director Yaniv Attar and is the Resident Orchestra of Mount Baker Theatre.

Our Mission
The BSO engages, connects, and uplifts our community by performing powerful, beautiful, and inspiring music.

Our Vision
Enrich, inspire, and connect our community through the transformative power of music.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Statement 
The Bellingham Symphony Orchestra is committed to bringing people together through the transformative power of music. Our musicians, board members, and staff encourage you to join us in vigorously opposing  discrimination, racism, and hate, as we strive to promote diversity and equity in our organization and in our community, and to enrich the repertoire with cultural diversity.

Choose an option from the right to learn more about who we are and what we do.

Photo credit: Damian Vines Photography. Film produced by IAJ Multimedia.

Our Timeline


Maestro Yaniv Attar celebrates the 10th anniversary of his debut performance with the BSO on October 6, 2013.


The Whatcom Symphony Orchestra becomes the Bellingham Symphony Orchestra following an April 2018 vote by the musicians and Board of Directors.


Maestro Yaniv Attar takes to the podium

"My first season with the WSO has been truly remarkable...The support and love of the community to our wonderful symphony is, in my mind, unparalleled and a source of envy to many orchestras in this country."

- Yaniv Attar, Music Director

Damian Vines Photography
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The Whatcom Symphony Orchestra celebrates 25 years!

Courtesy of the BSO Archives
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WWU Professor Roger Briggs is named Associate Conductor, and, in 1997, Briggs becomes Artistic Director of the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra

Courtesy of the BSO Archives
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The orchestra starts performances in the historic Mount Baker Theatre.

“After years of wandering from auditorium to auditorium, we finally had our very own home!”

- Jane Lund, Violin

Courtesy of the BSO Archives
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Nicholas Bussard becomes Music Director of the orchestra. Shortly thereafter, the orchestra becomes known as the Whatcom Community Orchestra. In 1985, the organization becomes known as the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra.

"Amateur needn't mean less talented. It often means multi-talented."

- Nicholas Bussard

Courtesy of the BSO Archives
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A small group of area musicians came together to prepare a concert celebrating the Bicentennial. The new Whatcom County Bicentennial Orchestra, directed by Frank Nielsen, gives its first public performance on March 16th, 1976.

“We were intent on coming together to put on a good concert. But we enjoyed the experience and camaraderie so much, we decided to continue on!”

- Joanne Donnellan, Founding Member