In 1958, Jack Lind, an accomplished musician and native of Missoula, Montana, moved to Fairbanks from Anchorage where he had been involved in the school system. Appointed band director to what is now Lathrop High School, Lind soon became the first conductor of what would become the Fairbanks Symphony. Discovering that Fairbanks did not have an organized symphony orchestra, Lind made plans to establish one. In December of 1958 he arranged for a radio announcement inviting all musicians and townspeople interested in forming a community orchestra to an organizational meeting and rehearsal.
At that time Fairbanks only had a population of about 10,000 and was not exactly a cultural center. On January 13, 1959 a group of 35-40 musicians and others willing to give of their time gathered at Lathrop High School in the music room. The response was very encouraging and regular rehearsals were scheduled for Tuesday evenings - which still remains as the rehearsal night for the orchestra.
The orchestra was small and the varied degrees of musicianship were challenging, but within a few months the orchestra was ready to perform its first concert. On the afternoon of May 3, 1959 at Hunter School at 3:00 pm, the Fairbanks Symphony performed its first concert to a full house.