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The Virginia Chamber Orchestra (VCO) was founded in 1971 as a professional touring orchestra, traveling by bus to present performances in areas of Virginia where live orchestral concerts were not offered. In the early 1980s, the VCO was encouraged to establish its base in Northern Virginia, delighting critics and new audiences. Celebrating the fortieth anniversary season in 2010-2011 the orchestra expanded the reach of its live concerts into Washington, DC. In addition, the VCO has occupied a unique niche among all arts organizations by serving a national audience of millions with educational television broadcasts since 1998 and most recently with free streaming videos on its Web site for students of all ages. The award-winning special audience outreach has benefited the community since the 1980s.