History of the Band
This season marks the band’s 53rd season. Founded by William Stiehl in 1969, the Southwestern Ohio Symphonic Band was originally associated with Miami University’s Middletown campus. Later the band was sponsored by various area businesses, prompting the Ohio Senate to pass a special resolution commending the cooperation between
businesses and the performing arts.Following that, the band was again affiliated with Miami University Middletown for several years.
Today the band is a self-supporting arts organization and a true “community” band with members from the Cincinnati, Hamilton, Middletown and Dayton areas. All band members, including professional, amateur and student musicians, volunteer their time. Each year a few exceptional high school students are chosen to join the band. A number of professional musicians who perform with the band today, began as student members.
In 1983, after 15 years as Director, Bill Stiehl stepped down and Chris Brandenburg took over leadership of the band. Chris is a graduate of Ohio University and the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, and was a band director and District Music Coordinator with Lakota Local Schools. Chris led the band for the next 35 years, steadily growing the membership to 90 musicians.
In May 2019, the Southwestern Ohio Symphonic Band celebrated its Golden Anniversary and at season’s end Chris Brandenburg stepped down as Director and was succeeded by Danny Maddox Nichols. Dan, a former Fairfield City Schools administrator and a graduate of Miami University, had been the Associate Conductor of the SOSB prior to assuming the Director position.