Alaska became a state before the formation of the Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra, but not by much.
The all-volunteer professional orchestra held its inaugural meeting 56 years ago this year — in the Lathrop High School music room on Jan. 13, 1959, ten days after Alaska gained statehood.
The symphony’s venue for its first concert, too, was a bit more humble than the Davis Concert Hall where the group now performs. On May 3, 1959, the symphony gave its first public performance in the Hunter Elementary gym. They must have sounded good, as the community has continued to support them in the more than five decades hence.