About the Orchestra

John Eells, Founder

John Eells was Director of Music at Miss Porter's School for 25 years and is the founder of the Farmington Valley Symphony Orchestra. He was Music Director of the orchestra from 1981 to 2013. He was educated in England at York University and at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he won that school's conducting competition. John has been guest conductor with the Jacksonville, Spokane and Hartford Symphony Orchestras, the Manchester Symphony Orchestra and Choral, and the Meriden Symphony Orchestra. He is also regular conductor of the New Britain Opera Association. John has attended seminars and been coached by Gunther Sculler, Otto Werner Mueller, Andre Previn, Erich Leinsdorf, Riccardo Muti, Gustav Meier, Seiji Ozawa, and Leonard Bernstein. 


The orchestra has grown from 30 members when it was founded to over 90. All the players are volunteers and come from a wide assortment of backgrounds and occupations mostly from Greater Hartford and the Farmington River Valley. The orchestra is recognized as a non-profit organization by the IRS. The Board of Directors includes members from the local community as well as players from the orchestra. With the exception of the Music Director, no member of the Orchestra or the Board is paid.


Financial Statements

2011 Form 990-EZ (pdf)
2012 Form 990-EZ (pdf)
2014 Form 990-EZ (pdf)


Rehearsals are held on Wednesday evenings. Please see the rehearsal details page for more information.

Mission Statement

The Farmington Valley Symphony Orchestra is dedicated to promoting musical excellence as a living part of our community, through performances and educational programs for all audiences, thereby fostering an appreciation for and knowledge of music, enriching the cultural life of our region.

Vision Statement

The Farmington Valley Symphony Orchestra will strive for organizational excellence through volunteerism, provide necessary resources to ensure financial stability, expand community recognition and involvement, support innovative, diverse, and dynamic programming, foster a variety of educational opportunities and experiences, increase our current audience and cultivate a new generation of symphony lovers and subscribers.

See Program History