The Kemi City Orchestra is a flexible ensemble able to adapt to a repertoire of various music genres. Collaboration with the local theatre and choirs and premieres of contemporary Finnish music are annual items on the agenda of this youthful, progressive orchestra. History of Kemi City Orchestra goes back to 1930 when Kemi Music Society with its 20 musicians was founded. Two years later the society started an Orchestra School. Kemi City Orchestra was municipalized in 1966. Currently the orchestra has up to 50-55 players but only the members of the Sea Lapland String Quartett are employed full time. Rest of the regular musicians are teachers and most advanced students of the Länsi-Pohja Music Institute and other professional players from the area.
The Kemi City Orchestra has an important role in the cultural life of the Sea Lapland region. Kemi is the northernmost point in Finland where music students can play in a full-size symphony orchestra. Some of the regular extras comes from Sweden, and the proximity of the border offers new potential for cultural collaboration between Finland and Sweden.