The Long Bay Symphonic Society was founded in 1987 by Dr. Diana Swanner-Scroggins, a local music storeowner.
She determined the need for a local symphony orchestra after many customers, both music lovers and musicians, related their interests in such an organization. Having relocated to the area two years earlier she described the area's atmosphere at that time as "lacking in culture."
"At that time we have a concert series at CCU's Wheelwright Auditorium, Brown Bradley was starting a concert series at First Presbyterian Church and we had the Coastal Concert Association. That was the sum of the area's culture," said Swanner.
She felt that the area really needed a symphony and believed that because many of the area's residents had moved from cities with symphonies, that it could be successful.
"People vacationed here from the mills, hardworking textile workers and the like. At that time country-western and hillbilly was the flavor of the year," she said. "We knew the symphony was a gamble, but we decided to take that gamble."
One of the biggest concerns was whether there were enough talented musicians in this he area to make it work.
"A musician who was playing with the Charleston Symphony came into my store and said she thought she may have a conductor for us," Swanner said.
Soon after she met with Dr. Won-Mo Kim who agreed to be the the first Music Director/Conductor of the Long Bay Symphony — he served in that post through the 1994-95 season.