The DeKalb Symphony Orchestra was formed by DeKalb College at its inception (now Georgia State University) in 1964 and has performed at its campus in Clarkston since l965. In 1984, the Orchestra incorporated as an independent organization and was subsequently granted 501(c)(3) status by the Internal Revenue Service.
The DSO offers a subscription season of 7 Concerts and has an 8th as a free Community Concert. Using a core of paid, professional musicians and a general membership of approximately 60 unpaid players, the DeKalb Symphony is able to produce an impressive number of high-quality performances at a surprisingly modest cost.
Now in its 38th year, the DSO Children's Concert is an annual tradition with multi-generational followers. This concert is also for many attendees their first time hearing a full orchestra. After the packed hour of music and narration, the orchestra members invite attendees to come and "visit" instruments, offering an up close view and answering questions.
The DSO is able to undertake outreach concerts to areas that could never afford to bring in a fully paid orchestra and to keep admission charges for all of its concerts at a minimum. Such concern for accessibility is a key ingredient of many aspects of the activities of the DeKalb Symphony.