July 2023 Newsletter

OPO President of the Board Melody Lynch and OPO Executive Director Paul Helfrich.

A few weeks ago, I announced that I will be leaving OPO in September to follow my wife, violinist Jessica Hung, to North Carolina as she begins her new position as Associate Concertmaster of the North Carolina Symphony. The expectation has always been that wives will support their husband’s careers; I think it’s high time that men feel comfortable doing the same.

With that said, it’s a bittersweet moment, as it has been my great honor to serve as OPO’s Executive Director over the past three and a half years. I am very proud, with the support of an outstanding team, to have led OPO through the pandemic and to exciting new opportunities in its new home in Steinmetz Hall. I’m proud of other accomplishments as well, including two collective bargaining agreements with the musicians’ union, record setting results for our United Arts Collaborative Campaigns, improved relationships with our musicians and community partners, and being part of the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World. And two concerts with Yuja Wang – wow!

I’m very grateful to Melody Lynch, Mary Palmer, and Eric Jacobsen, for bringing me to Orlando and for being my steadfast partners throughout my time here. Thanks as well to Al Michejda and Lou Supowitz, for being the first people to show me around Orlando and for being great to work with once I arrived.

I’m especially thankful for the work of an outstanding staff team, some of the best people I’ve known in my entire career. I will always fondly remember my time here in Orlando and the many friends I have made, and of course, the palm trees, warm weather, and hitting the pool 12 months a year.

I look forward to seeking a new opportunity of my own in North Carolina, and will be sure to keep those of you who follow me here, or on Facebook, informed. Until then, I am committed to helping OPO make a smooth transition and to position the organization for even greater success in the future. I’m very happy to be on board till September 15 and will serve OPO proudly during that time. That includes writing a few more of these articles, so see you next month!

Paul Helfrich

Executive Director

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