Melody Lynch, a shareholder at Lowndes, currently serves as chair-elect of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. Melody shares how the Orlando Philharmonic has continued to bring beautiful music to the community amid the pandemic and why support is needed more than ever.
When did you first get involved with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra?
As an Orlando native, my very first experience with the Orlando Philharmonic (then known as the Florida Symphony Orchestra) came as an elementary-aged student on our school’s annual field trip to the Young People’s Concerts at the Bob Carr Theater. Later as a dancer, I performed in many professional productions with Orlando Ballet (formerly Southern Ballet Theater) that featured the beautiful music of a live orchestra. After becoming a season subscriber and getting to know the organization more deeply through post-concert events and other activities, I joined the Orlando Philharmonic Board of Directors in February 2015.
What attracted you to this organization in particular?
There are so many wonderful things about the Orlando Philharmonic, but two things particularly drew me in. First, I believe that ARTS MATTER! The Orlando Philharmonic is a leader in the Central Florida arts community and has a mission to share the transformative power of live music with our community. Second, the Orlando Philharmonic has always emphasized solid fiscal management and has committed itself to a strong and intentional commitment to the financial security of the orchestra.
How have you benefited from your involvement?
As a leader at the Orlando Philharmonic, I have the unique opportunity to work with our amazing musicians, staff, patrons, donors, and community. The Orlando Philharmonic is also a great collaborator, bringing together other arts and cultural organizations to create innovative programs and experiences. Because of this, I have the chance to connect and work in partnership with talented leaders and professionals from across the Central Florida area.
What are some of the most important activities/work that the Orlando Philharmonic does?
As a mother of two young arts-loving children, I am particularly fond of the education programs which develop new audiences and expose young children to classical music. Even during the pandemic, our Symphony Storytime Series has provided concerts on the Front Porch of the Plaza Live for our youngest audience members. Additionally, since field trips to the Young People’s Concerts weren’t possible due to the pandemic, our all-new virtual program reached more than 75,000 elementary-aged students in our community by delivering the musical experience straight to their classrooms.
What do you hope that the Orlando Philharmonic will achieve in the near future?
Steinmetz Hall at the Dr. Phillips Center is currently under construction. When it opens in 2022, it will be one of the world's most acoustically perfect halls and the home of the Orlando Philharmonic. While we demonstrated great flexibility and tenacity this year as we played beautiful concerts in new venues such as Exploria Stadium, Festival Park, Frontyard Festival, and Calvary Orlando, I am anxiously anticipating our move to Steinmetz Hall.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about the Orlando Philharmonic?
On May 8, 2021, the Orlando Philharmonic will conclude its 27th season with a celebration of America, featuring highlights from Bernstein’s West Side Story and Gershwin’s An American in Paris. We will also have internationally acclaimed Grammy award-winning folk singer Aoife O’Donovan with us for the world premiere of her song cycle honoring the passage of the 19th Amendment. You won’t want to miss this incredible concert!
Are there any other organizations that you are involved in that you’d like to mention?
Giving back to the community where I grew up and continue to live with my family is very important to me. In addition to the Orlando Philharmonic, I also volunteer with two wonderful organizations – Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association and Seniors First, both of which help to protect the interests of some of our community’s most vulnerable populations. I also serve in volunteer leadership roles at my alma mater, Lake Highland Preparatory School, and my church, First Presbyterian Church of Orlando.
Do you have any additional message to share?
Now more than ever, your local arts and cultural organizations need your support. Live performances and exhibitions are happening once again, but the challenges of lower ticket revenues and additional costs to accommodate social distancing requirements remain. The United Arts Collaborative Campaign for the Arts is running now through April 30, 2021. Please join me in supporting the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra and the many other wonderful arts and cultural organizations in our community! https://unitedarts.cc/support/campaign-for-the-arts/