About NCO

About Naples Community Orchestra

2022 brought a season of outstanding guest conductors, virtuous soloists, and programs of beloved classical and favorite popular music as a transition to a new Artistic Director. Max Rabinovitsj, NCO Artistic Director for eight seasons conducted the season opener. Three outstanding guest conductors, Radu Paponiu, Artis-Naples, and Kyle Szabo, FGCU, rounded out the classical programs; Jodie DeSalvo returned to close the season with two Pops performances.

Naples Community Orchestra introduced its Community Partnership with Artis-Naples. The partnership provides NCO with musician and conductor talent, and event and rehearsal space. Artis-Naples’ recognition demonstrates both the level of excellence our orchestra has achieved, and Artis-Naples’ commitment to community organizations.

2014 to 2021– Max Rabinovitsj

2021 saw Max Rabinovitsj’s retirement as NCO Artistic Director and Conductor. His virtuosity as a conductor and violinist has forever changed our organization. Bringing his expertise to our musicians has raised the level of our performances to rival the very best of the country’s community orchestras. We were fortunate to have Max for eight seasons. He returns to Naples in January to conduct the season opener. Click here to learn more about Max Rabinovitsj.

2008 to 2014 – Robert Dale Herrema

In 2008 Robert Dale Herrema was appointed Musical Director. He built on the foundations laid down by Mr. Stewart and Mr. Holmberg and the NOC continued to grow and develop.

During his leadership, the Orchestra and Chorus performed a World Premier composition, which was commissioned to celebrate NOC’s 20th Anniversary Season.

2004 to 2008 Richard Holmberg

In 2004, when Ralph became ill, he asked Richard T. Holmberg to step in as Musical Director of the Naples Community Orchestra.

Richard arrived at a time of crisis but managed to maintain the vitality of the organization. The orchestra and chorus grew in numbers and matured in quality. No one was surprised because Richard Holmberg was an unusual musician.

He had been director of music for the School Town of Munster in Munster, Indiana, for 35 years, during which time he built the music department into one of the most successful music programs in the state. He was also in charge of the vocal music department, which included as many as three hundred students participating in choirs and select vocal ensembles.

Richard continued his personal dedication through 2007.

Founded in 1993 by Ralph Stewart

Ralph Stewart was not new to starting musical groups from scratch. He formed his first civic chorus in Northern Ontario when he was seventeen. Later his experience included choirs and orchestras in Canada’s capital, where he established a 100-voice chorus for the nation’s centennial, and in the United States.

In addition to his musical pursuits, Mr. Stewart was a published author, politician and professional diplomat. He was elected to Canada’s Parliament where he served for eleven years. He chaired a committee at the NATO Assembly and was Canada’s Consul General to the Southeastern U.S. and Puerto Rico.

After leaving his ambassadorial post he became a permanent resident of the U.S. and settled in Naples where he served for twelve years as Director of Music at St. Leo Catholic Church in Bonita Springs.

Ralph Stewart founded both the orchestra and chorus and was the organization’s conductor from 1993 to 2004.

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We are dedicated to bringing a season of outstanding classical and popular performances that enhances our lives at a cost that assures accessibility for our entire community.