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Mission, Vision, & Values

January 12, 2023

The Bellingham Symphony Orchestra has updated its Mission Statement to reflect our changing times, and we are thrilled with the results.

“Our mission statement articulates our purpose and why we exist. Our Vision Statement describes where we want to be in the future. The process to create these statements included surveys of our players, staff and board members. This was a process and journey to discover who we are and what presence we aspire to have in our community,” says Debbie Arthur, Board Member and BSO musician.

Guided by consultant Scott Faulkner, BSO board members wanted to ensure that the process reflected the thoughts and values of the Board, staff, and orchestra members.

Another starting point of sorts was realizing an ending point. “When I began looking at this,” says Gail Ridenour, Executive Director, “I realized that the good news was we had accomplished so many of our previous goals. Knowing that gave us all the energy and enthusiasm to aim even higher.”

Throughout the statements, one overriding theme stands clear: the orchestra’s dedication to expanding the repertory to include a wider representation of music, composers, soloists, and performers. “As we moved through the process, we knew we wanted to stretch our vision and our reach,” says Board President Barbara Ryan. “Committing to helping our classical world and our community widen our understanding and appreciation for voices not always heard has always been important to us, and is what has driven our Harmony from Discord series. Expanding those efforts in a supportive community is a joyful opportunity for us all.”

“Harmony from Discord is a series so very close to my heart,” says Music Director Yaniv Attar. “When we first began, we weren’t sure how this music would be received. We are incredibly thankful to be part of a community that not only supported it, but embraced it, and now these concerts are some of our most popular. I am very much looking forward to continuing to feature music driven by, and in response to, oppression around the world and through the ages.”

“All of us who support the Orchestra are deeply aware that the Orchestra's primary goal is to serve our community, all of our community, and that emphatically includes those who may have been underrepresented in the past.

“So much wonderful music written by women and members of minority groups has never been played; it is important that this vast treasury become part of the established repertoire for many reasons, but mostly because so much of it is great music,” explains Board member and past President Garland Richmond.

Other highlights include an understanding of the need to build on past successes, continue to reach out to widen our audience, and manage growth in a manner that allows for a thriving orchestra and staff. “The BSO wants to serve our community to our fullest capacity. We want to be more accessible; we want to be more relevant; and we want to achieve a high artistic level. In a bold sense, we want to make a difference,” adds Debbie Arthur.

Mission Statement

The Bellingham Symphony Orchestra engages, connects, and uplifts our community by performing powerful, beautiful, and inspiring music.

Vision Statement

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

DEI 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, equity, and inclusion in our organization and in our community, and to enrich the repertory with cultural diversity.