The Cadillac Symphony Orchestra has been offering wonderful music to the Cadillac area since 1974!
The orchestra began when Dr. Ed Stehouwer was looking for musicians to accompany the Cadillac community Messiah Sing-a-long. After a short time, it appeared there was interest in a full-time community orchestra. Today, we have grown to a group of 50+ musicians performing 4 concerts per year.
We are a robust ensemble willing to tackle all sorts of classical and contemporary music. The orchestra is made up of musicians who volunteer their time, playing for the pleasure of being part of a creative whole. Anyone who has some musical training is encouraged to join and be part of the group.
You’ll notice that there is a broad range of ages within the orchestra – music is one place where age makes no difference and both young and old can enjoy a common experience.
Part of the legacy of the CSO has been the development of the Cadillac Area String Association, which offers lessons to students interested in string instruments and also provides an opportunity for these young people to perform for an audience.
Mr. Mike Filkins has served as the music director of the Cadillac Symphony since January of 2010, after seven years as the principal clarinetist in the orchestra. Prior to his appointment with the CASO, Mr. Filkins proudly served as the Music Director of the Cadillac Area Youth Orchestra for five years.
Cadillac Symphony Music Director Mike Filkins began his musical studies in the Fairfax County, Virginia Schools, studying clarinet for eight years, graduating from Thomas Jefferson High School. His private teachers were Col. Fred Bohrmann, United States Army and Dr. William Wright, National Symphony Orchestra. Filkins spent his summers from 1972-1979 at the National Music Camp at Interlochen, Michigan. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from The University of Michigan in 1979.
Mr. Filkins has taught instrumental and general music to Northern Michigan students in Charlevoix, DeTour Village, Manton and Cadillac, Michigan for 32 years. He is presently serving as the Director of Bands for Cadillac Area Public Schools, a school system he has served for 17 years. While with the school district, Mr. Filkins has been a band director, choir director and elementary music teacher, has conducted pit orchestras in 14 Cadillac HS music productions and started and maintained the highly acclaimed Cadillac HS Percussion Ensemble since 2001.
Mike Filkins is married to Carla Filkins, and has four adult children and seven grandchildren. He presently resides in the city of Cadillac with his wife and their Bichon Frise dogs. Together with his wife, the Filkins have served as volunteers for the Cadillac Arts Council and the Cadillac Cystic Fibrosis Committee and have participated in almost every volunteer supported event in Cadillac.
A driving commitment Mr. Filkins has brought to the Cadillac Symphony Orchestra is that Wexford County is a very special producer of amazing artists and to that end, Filkins has created a locally grown concert series that has already featured ten “Locally Grown” Artists as feature artists at Spring Concerts. The area has produced so many professional performers that the original commitment to ten years of Locally Grown concerts will not cover all the artists the area has produced. The Cadillac Symphony Orchestra has been available to area music enthusiasts since 1974 as both performers and consumers of the arts…Mr. Mike Filkins is committed to continuing the heritage of the arts that is a hallmark of the Greater Cadillac Area.
The Cadillac Area Symphony Board is a member of Cadillac Arts Council
Cadillac Symphony Board:
President – Liz MacCord Vice President – Margie Annis
Secretary – Ruth Boonzaaijer Treasurer – Mike Smith
Conductor: Mike Filkins
Board Members: Judy Hill, Kent/Betsy Rosenau, Barb Tatarchuk, Rachel Whiteman, Neil Wolf, Muriel Stehouwer