The North Shore Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1961 by conductor Dr. Charles Gouse as "The Community Orchestra" under the sponsorship of the Hicksville Public Schools' Continuing Education Program. The orchestra took up residence at North Shore High School in 1979 where it acquired its present name, followed by a move in 2004 to its current home at the Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School. Peter Aaronson conducted the Orchestra from 1984 to 1989; and Dwight Dyer, long-time concertmaster at the time, organized a series of guest conductors for the 1989-1990 concert season. From among these guest conductors, Susan Deaver was selected as NSSO’s Music Director and Conductor in 1990. Under Maestra Deaver’s musical leadership, the NSSO thrived for 25 years and was re-established as one of Long Island's finest community orchestras.

After the short residence of conductor Vlad Vizireanu, who created the New Horizons Composers Competition, Harry Marenstein was appointed Music Director and Conductor in 2018. 

The North Shore Symphony Orchestra has provided a way for hundreds of individuals from all professions and ages to share and engage in their passion for music. Each season, the orchestra presents four concerts of standard classical repertoire as well as newly commissioned contemporary pieces, and features outstanding soloists, many of whom already have or go on to professional careers on the national and international stage. Ms. Deaver initiated the Young Artist Award Competition in 1993 to recognize exceptional local high school musicians and in 2008, she created the Artist-in-Residence position to bring top caliber professional musicians to serve as concertmaster and mentor to the orchestra in both rehearsals and concerts. This program broadens the orchestra’s creative and musical experience and enables NSSO to provide educational outreach to Long Island school districts.

The North Shore Symphony Orchestra is supported by Friends of the North Shore Symphony Orchestra, registered with the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, tax-exempt organization, and registered with the Charities Bureau in the New York State Office of the Attorney General. All contributions to Friends of the North Shore Symphony Orchestra are tax-deductible.


The mission of the North Shore Symphony Orchestra is to present professional quality concerts performed by local musicians; to maintain and foster an interest in and enjoyment of classical music for audience and musicians alike; and to be an affordable cultural resource for the Long Island community.