Orchestra management announced its new name at a concert on April 1. Music director David Kunkel told his audience that the 26-year-old orchestra decided to rename itself for two reasons. First, it wants to minimize confusion with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, based in nearby Norfolk and led by JoAnn Falletta.
Secondly, the orchestra will shortly move into a new and larger home at the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, where its first concert is scheduled for November 18. It needs to attract a bigger audience and thus also requires a beefed-up marketing campaign.
According to the Virginian-Pilot, the orchestra hired a consultant and brainstormed a list of hundreds of possible names. The result was Symphonicity, with a fermata over the first "i." In print, the name will always be accompanied by a six-word subtitle, "The Symphony Orchestra of Virginia Beach," until people get accustomed to the new name.
The newspaper report points out that Symphonicity sounds a lot like "Synchronicity," the 1983 album and song by The Police, which is the first thing Robin MacPherson, senior art director at HCD Advertising & Public Relations, thought of when she saw the new name.
"It's a $50 word, that's for sure," Dan Downing, executive vice president at HCD, told the paper. "But it's something that you see it, you don't forget it."