The mission of the Lexington Chamber Orchestra is:
“To call people into higher awareness and deeper community through the beauty of chamber music.”
Much of life is focused on survival and immediate needs. Art reminds us that life is not only about survival, calling us to contemplate transcendent beauty and to connect more deeply with others. Without art, people can find themselves “chasing after the wind.” Everyday life is often about meeting the needs of the body, while art addresses the needs of the soul.
Chamber music is an art form that communicates emotion and meaning in a powerful and unique way. The chamber orchestra provides both power and intimacy: it tells stories on a grander scale than a string quartet, while bringing the audience closer than is possible with a symphony. Our goal is to produce chamber orchestra and small ensemble concerts that touch people and draw them together.
Our values are:
- To build a professional ensemble, always striving for artistic excellence. Our talented musicians are paid, and we treat them with great respect.
- To take a balanced artistic approach, honoring both old and new art, keeping in harmony tradition, experimentation, and relevance. We perform both standard repertoire and new or rarely heard compositions. Our programs are both challenging and fun.
- To produce programs that are accessible even for people who are not regular concert attenders. We offer free admission to draw in new fans and people of all backgrounds, and rely on the good will of our community for support.
- To use primarily local musicians. Drawing on Lexington’s talent pool increases the stability and therefore the quality of our ensemble, and this is another way we serve our community.
Each of these values will support our mission to challenge people and grow relationships through solid performance of great music.
The music scene here in Lexington, Kentucky includes the Lexington Philharmonic, the UK Symphony Orchestra, and the Lexington Community Orchestra. A chamber orchestra is a related but distinct medium. We have 18 regular string players, plus varying numbers of other instruments. The chamber orchestra is smaller and more intimate, but it retains the richness of a large ensemble. The scale allows for closer communication and more direct connection with the audience than with a full symphony. This aligns well with our goal to focus on local professional artists and lasting relationships.
Our 2015-2016 season included a Christmas concert and two spring concerts. Initially, we asked professional musicians to volunteer their time, but this was only temporary. To sustainably achieve the highest caliber of performance, we need to fund the ensemble and provide compensation.
Now in our third season, we are partnering with The Lyric Theatre to produce Sunday matinees. Now even more people from different parts of Lexington can share in the joy of our music!
The challenge for organizations like ours is that ticket sales usually do not address the majority of the financial need. Moreover, high admission prices can be a barrier to involvement for many people. So instead we offer free concerts and trust in the kindness of our audience members and sponsors. We have an opportunity to reach non-concertgoers and influence our culture, but we have to face the reality that great art requires sacrifice. We need people with a heart for our city and for art music to support our cause. The success of this ensemble depends on your generosity!
Board of Directors
- Jonathan Crosmer, President
- Jessica Miskelly, Secretary
- Michael Morrill
- Ben Kaufmann
- Amy Dougherty
- Jay Conne
- Joan Conne, Development Chair
- Jan Pellant, Music Director
- Benjamin Karp
- Sarah Glenn, Executive Director
Lexington Chamber Orchestra Inc. is a public charity exempt from federal income tax under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 501(c)(3). Donations may qualify as charitable deductions for federal income tax purposes; please consult with your tax adviser or the IRS to determine if your contribution is deductible.