MCO provides performance and educational opportunities for regional musicians to create integrative musical experiences for the community.
The Mukilteo Community Orchestra (MCO) was originally founded by a small group of musicians, led by horn player Terry Preshaw, as the Mukilteo Community Chamber Orchestra in 1997. The group was sponsored by the Gene Nastri Community School of Arts and began meeting in the basement of the old Rosehill Community Center.
The orchestra was comprised of musicians taking up a second instrument or returning to playing their instrument after taking many years off from playing. In the first year, the initial eight members grew to a group of 23 musicians.
The orchestras debut performance was at the 1998 Gene Nastri School Rosehill Revue, held at Old Rosehill, under the baton of Anne Wilkinson. Over the years, other conductors have included Dr. Charles Atwood, composer and violinist, who taught for the Gene Nastri Music School; Jeffrey Freed, concertmaster and conductor in 2004; and violist Loreen Petty, who served in that role from 2005 - 2007. During this time the chamber orchestra performed at a variety of venues, including many Rosehill Revues, the Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival, the Mukilteo Library, Mukilteo tree lighting ceremonies, on the Mukilteo ferry at Christmas, at outdoor movies-in-the-park, and at the Mukilteo Chamber of Commerce. The group has also accompanied the winners of several young artist competitions.
In 2007, Trevor Lutzenhiser became the orchestras Conductor and Artistic Director. Under his guidance and inspiration, the orchestra has grown in both membership and orchestral programming. In 2009 the orchestra formed its first Board of Directors, adopted Bylaws and incorporated as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.
In February 2011, the orchestra performed for the opening ceremonies of the new Rosehill Community Center. Under the auspices of the City of Mukilteo Recreation and Cultural Department, MCO has called the new Rosehill Community Center home for rehearsals and concerts since its opening.
In May 2011, the MCO had not only grown in size and talent, but it had also outgrown its name. The orchestra had grown to 50 plus members, including full strings, wind, brass, and percussion sections; thus, it was time for the orchestra to update its name to the Mukilteo Community Orchestra (MCO). The MCO now plays three classical concerts a season, along with other community-oriented events. The MCO has a growing group of dedicated amateur players who support arts and music in the community.