PLAINFIELD, NJ—Have you ever wondered who pioneered the Plainfield Symphony Orchestra? Have you asked yourself where and how it all began?

With the help of a recent HEART (History, Education, Arts Reaching Thousands) Grant, Nancy Piwowar, President of the Historical Society Of Plainfield at the Drake House Museum, is conducting research on the seven people who began the Plainfield Symphony. Over 75 individuals and organizations, supporting a diverse selection of projects related to history, the arts and humanities, were selected for the grant totaling $125,000 in 2019.

RELATEDUnion County awards HEART Grants to Plainfield Organizations 

“We were able to receive a grant of about $2,200.00 that was awarded to us by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders,” Piwowar told TAPinto Plainfield. “Throughout looking for information on each person, I was able to contact their former employers.” Piwowar reached out to organizations including colleges and universities to find information on the individuals and what they may have done in their early years.

Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

The founding members included two women. Each of them will be highlighted on the Historic Gallery Walk, expected to open in early March, just in time for Women’s History Month.

  • Violet Evans
  • Bossom White
  • Kenneth Underwood
  • Mayor George W.V. Moy — Former Plainfield Mayor, 1911-1912
  • Dr. Leonard Waldo
  • Joshua L. Loizeaux
  • William Littlewood — Former American Airlines Worker

The Plainfield Symphony Society was established in 1919, but was later incorporated in 1921, and is currently celebrating its 100th season. It is New Jersey's oldest community symphony and the third oldest continuously operating symphony in the United States.

Anyone with information on the history of the Plainfield Symphony, or for those who would like to work on this project, contact Piwowar at

For more information on the Plainfield Symphony's events and to purchase tickets to performances, visit