The Southwest Ohio Philharmonic, Inc. (SWOP) was founded on Dec. 2, 2016 by interested musicians of the Middletown Symphony Orchestra. Core founders were Joanne Shaffer, Michael L. Shaffer and Renate W. Thomas with Carmon DeLeone as the organization’s first Music Advisor. Current board members are: William Albin, Mike Arnold, Dora Bronston, Jacquelyn Davis, Matthew Dixon, Tera Hamilton, Lynda Herndon, Gary Rasmussen, Pam Rauch, Peter Rauch, Andrea Ridilla, Michael L. Shaffer, Fred Thiergartner, Genie Thiergartner and Renate W. Thomas..
As the Middletown Symphony Orchestra celebrated their final 75th season (2016-2017), the MSO musicians have been planning on continuing to bring symphonic music to the area communities through the founding of this new philharmonic. SWOP's first concert was performed on Labor Day of 2017 at the Woodside Arboretum in Middletown, Ohio. The Philharmonic has also made plans to develop a partnership with area colleges and universities giving music students the opportunity to work with SWOP’s Board of Directors and professional musicians.
Our vision, “To Touch Everyone with Music”, is the main goal of the Southwest Ohio Philharmonic as we reach out to all communities of southwest Ohio.