Our History and Mission


Music Carolina, formerly the Carolina Chamber Symphony Players, started in 1992 as a chamber orchestra founded by conductor Robert Franz and a group of fellow musicians from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. The organization began to focus on small ensemble performances in 2006 and two years later premiered the Music Carolina SummerFest (formerly Carolina Summer Music Festival), which has since taken place each August in Winston-Salem. In 2012, Music Carolina added a WinterFest to its seasonal offerings, making it one of the most active musical organizations in North Carolina.

Much of the growth and success of the festivals has been the result of collaborations with other local music organizations, including Carolina Music Ways, Camel City Jazz Orchestra, and Piedmont Opera. In addition, Music Carolina has expanded its offerings in recent years to include theater and dance performances, collaborating with organizations such Peppercorn Children’s Theatre and the Interdisciplinary Performance and the Liberal Arts Center (IPLACe) at Wake Forest University. Music Carolina continues to present events in a variety of venues in Winston-Salem, including the Reynolda House Museum of American Art, Old Salem, Salem College, Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts, Piedmont Music Center, and Wake Forest University.


Our mission is to enhance the cultural environment of the Winston-Salem community and the region through exciting and innovative chamber music, jazz, and multi-disciplinary programs.

We value and dedicate ourselves to maintaining the highest standards of artistic excellence, featuring world-class NC artists and collaborations, and performing in intimate and inviting venues.

We strive to develop a diverse and sustainable audience by bringing to the public top quality performances at an affordable cost and through fostering partnerships with local organizations.

Music Carolina is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization, governed by a Board of Trustees, and is funded through ticket revenues, contributions from individuals, foundations, local businesses, and grants from local and State agencies.