In 1997, the Middletown Creative Orchestra was created in Middletown, CT, by Jackson Moore, Seth Dellinger, Seth Misterka, and Jonathan Zorn. The orchestra's always-changing membership included a variety of improvisers and composers (many of whom studied at Wesleyan University with Anthony Braxton), as well as non-musicians. One of the founders' rules for the group was that anyone could join, and any member could write music for the group and help organize it. At various points, the group featured a number of other talented improvisers, including saxophonists Chris Jonas and James Fei, cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum, and violinist Jessica Pavone. In 1997 and 1998, the group recorded three albums that were eventually released on Misterka's Newsonic label. By the fall of 1999, nearly all the original members of the group had left town, but Dellinger managed to rally the troops for a relatively high-profile performance with the Wesleyan University Orchestra in the spring of 2000.
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