Can you remember the first time you heard a live professional symphony orchestra? Was it a school excursion, were you taken to a matinee concert, or did an orchestra visit the regional town where you grew up?
Whatever the circumstances, for many this first introduction to a live orchestra can spark a love, enthusiasm and appreciation for music that can last a lifetime. For many children living in Melbourne today, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s Meet the Orchestra program is their first foray into this world.
The MSO is delighted to announce a multi-year pledge from long-term MSO supporter and Director, Michael Ullmer and his wife Jenny via their family’s charitable foundation, which will assist the MSO in delivering this program to schoolchildren across Melbourne.
Designed for upper primary school children, Meet the Orchestra forms part of the extensive suite of concerts and activities showcased annually during MSO’s Education Week at the Melbourne Town Hall. Importantly, the program allows schoolchildren to experience high quality live music featuring some of the world’s finest music educators and artists, and incorporates innovative, pre-concert online classroom resources. This generous gift from the Ullmer Family Endowment enables the MSO to keep ticket prices accessible for all schools and families.
“Michael and Jenny’s dedication and generosity are a shining example of the difference great benefactors can make,” said André Gremillet, the MSO’s Managing Director. “Our Education program represents the present and future of orchestral music, and to have their financial support is a wonderful endorsement of our work in this area.”
The gift was announced at a lunch acknowledging Education Supporters during the MSO’s recent Education Week. Representing the Ullmer Family Endowment were William Ullmer and his wife Jenny. William addressed the audience explaining why Meet the Orchestra attracted the Ullmer family’s support:
“For us, music is a vital component of education. Music in education is well known as a key enabler for students and we would like the MSO to be accessible to students from all walks of life. It is an investment in helping to unlock the potential of children who may otherwise not have the exposure to the rich world of music that we all enjoy through the MSO. We would like teachers, parents and students to make the most of this programme by encouraging participation, fostering interests and having conversations that broaden a child’s learning.”
The MSO is committed to introducing the love and joy of music to as many current and future generations as possible. The Ullmer family hope that their gift may inspire others in the community to support the many other worthwhile MSO education programs conducted throughout the year.