The Pasadena Symphony Association was founded in 1928 by Conductor Reginald Bland. Originally named the Pasadena Civic Orchestra, its first members were mostly volunteer musicians, many of whom were students of Bland. The annual operating budget was a mere $3,500, which was funded entirely by the City of Pasadena.
Over the past 82 years, the Pasadena Symphony has artistically matured into one of the top performing symphonic ensembles in Southern California, comprised of the most gifted and sought after musicians from the motion picture film industry.

In the fall of 2007, the Pasadena Symphony incorporated the Pasadena POPS into its Association under the new name Pasadena Symphony and POPS. This merger created an expanded Classics and POPS series providing the community with a full spectrum of live symphonic concerts year-round at the historic Civic Auditorium in downtown Pasadena and at its new summer venue on the Lawn adjacent to the Rose Bowl. The Pasadena Symphony makes its new home at the Ambassador Auditorium – known as the Carnegie Hall of the West – beginning in its 2010-11 Season.

A hallmark of its robust education programs, the Pasadena Symphony Association has served the youth of the region since 1972 through the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestra comprised of over 160 gifted middle school students from more than 40 schools all over the Southland.