This agreement means beautiful music

NORFOLK — Old Dominion University and the Virginian Symphony Orchestra have signed a collaborative agreement to encourage presentation, growth, education and continued development of music in Hampton Roads.

The agreement was announced at a recent side-by-side concert featuring the ODU Symphony Orchestra and the VSO at the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts in Virginia Beach.

In addition to solidifying an existing relationship between the organizations, the agreement outlines future projects including:

  • An annual University/VSO “Presents” series.
  • Master classes for students by VSO conductors or soloists.
  • Workshops for students with VSO musicians and special access to Open Rehearsals.
  • Discounted tickets for ODU music students and faculty, including a free “Class Pass” for Department of Music students to attend all Classics and Pops! concerts.
  • A week-long summer camp for high school instrumental and choral students to be held at the University.
  • Integrating VSO programming with the University’s Strome Entrepreneurial Center and Health and Wellness to create research opportunities for ODU students.
  • Performance opportunities:
    • ODU Symphony Orchestra will continue its annual side-by-side with the VSO for both orchestral and choral students.
    • Students will rehearse with the VSO and receive supplemental coaching in preparation.
  • Professional development opportunities:
    • Administrative internships.
    • Education and Community Engagement volunteer opportunities assisting VSO musicians.
    • Minority Fellowship Program for string instrumentalists.

“Old Dominion University has a proud and longstanding commitment to music education,” ODU President John R. Broderick said. “With this new agreement, we will now extend those opportunities for our students. In exchange, the Virginia Symphony, we believe, will greatly benefit from the energy, perspective and diversity of the University.”

Nancy Klein, professor and chairwoman of the Department of Music, said the new initiative is one of the “tremendous benefits of being a part of the vibrant Hampton Roads community.”

“The Department of Music has been excited to join in this exciting collaboration that provides exceptional opportunities for our students, the Symphony and the University, and the community at large,” she said. “ODU and the Department of Music are able to provide musical opportunities for our music students through this collaboration that are unsurpassed by any other university in Virginia.”

Karen M. Philion, president and CEO of the VSO, is equally thrilled about the new agreement.

The VSO is proud to add meaningful value to the music students at ODU by offering educational and cultural opportunities that will enrich their college experiences,” she said. “This new type of partnership is unique in the state of Virginia and across the nation.”

The Old Dominion Department of Music offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in six programs with several concentrations. It has been an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music since 1978.

The VSO, led by conductor JoAnn Falletta since 1991,will celebrate its 100thanniversary in 2020. As the largest performing arts organization in southeastern Virginia, the VSO and its Chorus present more than 150 concerts and events to educate, enlighten and entertain more than 100,000 residents and visitors each year.

The VSO and its musicians have been highlighted in the media, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Public Radio and BBC Worldwide News.

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John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.