The International Symphony Orchestra was formed in 1957 as a result of the amalgamation of the Port Huron String Ensemble (Michigan) and the Little Orchestra Society of Sarnia. Both communities realized they were too small to establish and support separate orchestras, but believed that a collaboration might work. Indeed it did, and so began the rich international co-operative venture that continues to this day. From a humble inception of only two concerts a year, the orchestra’s activities have evolved to a pre-pandemic season of twelve Series performances, several Cushion Concerts, Chamber Presentations, youth education concerts and a number of community events.
The International Symphony Singers were added in 1984 to facilitate the inclusion of oratorio, opera, Broadway and musical theatre into the orchestra’s programming options. Since that time, the Symphony Singers have added a new texture to the organization, taking part in several concerts each season.
In fall 2019 The ISObar, a downtown Sarnia performance/rehearsal/gallery space, opened and was home to regular live music performances for intimate area audiences. The intercession of Covid19 necessitated a shift in ISO operations, which have included; The ISObar Sessions, filmed episodes of ISO orchestra members performing in the ISObar space with singer-songwriters; the summer 2020 Thru The Looking Glass series, which placed musicians in the ISO front window for 10 Saturdays; and the Nexus Chamber Series, an online season of empty hall chamber performances on both sides of the Canada-US border.
Dr. John O'Mahony
Madelyn Best – President
David Schwartz – President
A native of Windsor, Ontario, Douglas Bianchi holds a Bachelor of Music from Wayne State University and a Master’s Degree in Conducting from Oakland University. Prior to his position as an Associate Professor of Music for the past two decades at Wayne State, Douglas Bianchi taught in the public school sector, during which time he earned the title of “Teacher of the Year” (1987). His extensive conducting experience includes work in orchestral, choral, symphonic band, chamber, ballet, and musical theatre genres.
Orchestras he has led include: the Southfield Symphony; Lake St. Clair Symphony; Royal Oak Symphony; the Warren Symphony; the Wayne State Symphony, as well as international guest conducting collaborations with the Pleven Philharmonic Orchestra; considered one of the finest orchestras in Bulgaria, and the Otsu Philharmonic Orchestra of Japan. Maestro Bianchi also directed the highly regarded Warren Concert Band for twenty-five years
Our Concertmaster Sander Kostallari, originally from Albania, completed a scholarship degree at Wayne State University in 2000, graduating with a degree in violin performance. He studied violin with Geoffrey Applegate, orchestral and chamber music with Kypros Markou, and viola with Jim Vanvulkenberg. He has made solo appearances with Rochester Symphony and the WSU Symphony as well as the ISO, where he performed the Sibelius Violin Concerto in 2019. He is also a past winner of the WSU Concerto Competition winner (1996). He is also associate concertmaster at the Dearborn and Rochester symphonies, and a member of the Grand Rapids, Oakland and Warren symphonies.
*Ken van Ewyk
Dr. David Troiano, tenor, organist, and choral director, holds a Master of Music Degree in Vocal Performance from Wayne State University, a Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry from S.S. Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake, MI and a Doctoral in Church and Organ Studies from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. As a Choral Conductor,Troiano provided Musical Direction at the Bonstelle Theater (WSU) for several years. He has also served as Musical Director for several Community and semi-professional Theater groups. Since 1997, Dr. Troiano has been the Choral Director of the International Symphony Singers, whose repertoire is primarily taken from the OratorioLiterature. Since 2010, Troiano, who continues to perform regularly with the Comic Opera Guild of Ann Arbor, MI, has been seen conducting rarely – heard operettas for the Guild, which have also been recorded.
For over forty years he has served many church communities as music director and organist, conducting various choral and instrumental ensembles for worship services. He is currently a voice instructor at Wayne State University.
Anthony Wing grew up in Sarnia and began piano instruction at the St Joseph’s School of Music’s convent. After consecutive music and political science programs at McGill University and University of Western Ontario, he was speechwriter for three Ontario governments and a federal leadership candidate; he later entered the foodservice industry and settled in Calgary while performing and teaching music. Anthony returned to the Sarnia area in 2016 and later succeeded Anne Brown as Executive Director of the ISO after her 30-year run leading the organization. He continues piano study and the Alexander method with Lawrence Pitchko in Toronto.
Office Hours – Monday to Friday 9 am to 4 pm
Telephone Canada 519-337-7775
Telephone USA 810-984-8857
Tickets [email protected]
General Inquiries [email protected]
Anthony Wing, Executive Director [email protected]
Elyse Duchesne, Marketing Manager [email protected]
Jacqueline Ritchie-Hennick, Bookkeeper [email protected]