BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- Musicians and guests file into the Forum Theatre Saturday to watch the Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra's season finale -- an "Ode to Joy."

It was night of both joy and sadness as the orchestra said goodbye to its music director and conductor, Maestro Jose-Louis Novo.

"I've seen a couple of his shows now that he's conducted and he is absolutely fantastic," said audience member Nathan Clink.

Novo has led the symphony for more than a decade.


"They seem sad that I'm leaving, but I think it's good when a conductor leaves when hopefully he's still liked," said Novo.

The long-time conductor is originally from Spain. 

It was his love for music that brought him to the United States. 

"I came to the States to study music. I was lucky to get a Fulbright scholarship, so I came to study at Yale University," he said.

Novo is also the conductor for an orchestra in Annapolis, Maryland, so he's always traveling.

For the past two years, he's stayed with this family during his visits to Binghamton.

"He works very hard and really has the interest of the orchestra right there up at the top," said audience member Charles Carpenter.

By Thursday, the concert was sold out. More than 1,500 people had their hands on these tickets.

For the last performance, the orchestra was accompanied by the Binghamton University Chorus.

Novo chose the arrangement, "Ode to Joy," Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.

A selection that is perfect for the night.

"It's a beautiful message of brotherhood, bringing the community together to celebrate success. Ode to Joy," said Novo

Novo was presented with a plaque showcasing the programs from his first and last concert.