Local, community made music since 1988 

Anchorage Civic Orchestra

About the ACO

Maestro Munger studied composition at Oberlin Conservatory and the University of Washington.  He trained in conducting under the batons of Frank Smoke, Count Mikael Schermetiev and Stanley Chappel. His debut as a conductor was in 1963 with the Thalia Youth Symphony of Seattle-Tacoma. From 1995 to 2007, he directed the Mat-Su College Community Band. He currently teaches music appreciation and introductory music theory at the University of Alaska Anchorage. A member of the ACO brass section and frequent
guest conductor, Mr. Munger was selected as the ACO Musical Director for the 2013-14 season. Munger has received of many awards, fellowships, grants and commissions for his music compositions. Most recently, he was a 2012 Rasmuson Foundation honoree. More of Munger’s compositions have been played at the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts and the University of Alaska
Anchorage, than those of any other living composer. Gordon’s Last Ride Rag, Hindu Kush and The Wild Coast are among his commissions for Alaskan orchestras. The ACO premiered Hindu Kush Op. 90 in 2010. The Anchorage Youth Symphony performed The Wild Coast in Anchorage and on their 2012 European tour. His newest composition, Elegy for JFK, premiered at the ACO’s November 2013 performance.

2017-2018 Music Director: Philip Munger

The ACO provides an outlet for talented musicians representing citizens from many local industries, including retail sales, law, accounting, pharmacy, dentistry, medicine, finance, fishing, teaching and the oil industry. The most represented occupations are music teachers and students. For over twenty years, we believe that arts lift the spirit and raise the collective consciousness of Anchorage residents.

Founded in 1988, the Anchorage Civic Orchestra was conceived as a community based orchestra. The orchestra rehearses weekly and performs symphonic music for the Anchorage community. Founders include Steve Posegate as well as other past and present members of the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra has more than 60 active volunteer musicians and is supplemented by additional players as individual concerts require. The ACO's roster includes people who work full time in many local industries and range in age from thirteen to seventy.

Our concerts have featured guest soloists from around the world, including Russia, Japan and the United States, and have featured various instruments and young artists at our family concerts. In addition, the well-known Alaskan conductors Maurice Dubonnet and Gordon Wright have guest conducted the ACO.

The ACO has also maintained its focus on enriching the musical community and community at large by bringing musicians with diverse backgrounds together to perform for and with a broad range of local communities. Members of the ACO have musical backgrounds as members of the Anchorage Youth Symphony, college and university orchestras and community orchestras in other cities. The orchestra itself has presented concerts in conjunction with Alaska Pacific University, The University of Alaska Anchorage, the Anchorage Community Schools, the Brother Francis Shelter and Abbott Loop Community Church. ACO concerts have been successful in reaching out to members of the community who do not regularly attend classical concerts as evidenced by the number of audience members who have mentioned that our concert was the first symphonic concert they had attended.

Some funding for the Anchorage Civic Orchestra provided by the Anchorage Arts Advisory Commission & The Alaska Arts and Culture Foundation.