Our Story

We bring our community together.

In musical terms, the word “symphony” refers to a combination of instruments producing pleasing sounds; its generic definition is “to be in agreement or accord with.” The Petersburg Symphony, by bringing together diverse ages, ethnicities, and walks of life, exemplifies the totality of the term “symphony.” This has been the key to the orchestra’s success and longevity; this will ensure its future.

Our Mission and Vision

PSO Mission

The Petersburg Symphony Orchestra (PSO) shall be a
permanent cultural resource to entertain, educate, and
enlighten all who seek the experience.


PSO Vision

The Petersburg Symphony Orchestra will be a
permanent regional orchestra with a national impact.

Our Story

The Petersburg Symphony Orchestra is a 501c(3) organization, established in 1978 by Dr. F. Nathaniel Gaitlin. We are dedicated to preserving, developing, educating, and delivering quality and diverse music to all ages, through tailored performing arts programming. We are an important part of life in the central and southern regions of Virginia. Dr. Gatlin's dream of a symphony orchestra for Petersburg has blossomed into one of Petersburg's most treasured assets.


The inspiration for the PSO was the preeminent Dr. F. Nathaniel Gatlin, who began his work of founding the Petersburg Symphony Orchestra in 1978, after having retired from over two decades of service as Director of Bands and administrator at the institution now known as Virginia State University. With the support of the Petersburg Chamber of Commerce, he founded the Petersburg Symphony Orchestra in 1978.


It’s maiden performance, Concert Number One, was performed on Sunday April 29, 1979 in the auditorium of Petersburg High School. From its inception, the Petersburg Symphony Orchestra has served not only Petersburg, but Southside Virginia. For more than thirty- five years, it has provided performance opportunities for players of orchestral instruments, nurtured young musicians, introduced newly-composed works to the public, collaborated with other musical organizations, and made orchestral music accessible to people who may have otherwise been deprived of the experience.

info@petersburgsymphony.org - send name & email to join our list! /   (804)732-0999   /  P.O. Box 2146, Petersburg, VA, 23804-1446