The mission of Orchestra Omaha is to provide Omaha area musicians opportunities to perform in a symphony orchestra while offering the community an artistically engaging experience.
Orchestra Omaha, Omaha's community orchestra, was originally founded as the Omaha Municipal Orchestra in 1998 by a group of area musicians. We are recognized as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization by the State of Nebraska and the Internal Revenue Service. Orchestra Omaha is also funded in part by grants from the Nebraska Arts Council/Nebraska Cultural Endowment. The Rev. Steven M. Grant served as founding Music Director and Conductor of the Omaha Municipal Orchestra from 1998-2001. Following Rev. Grant's departure, Dr. Christopher Stanichar stepped in as Music Director and Conductor for the 2002-2005 seasons. During the 2005-06 season, the orchestra was conducted by a series of guests. The name of our ensemble officially changed to Orchestra Omaha at the conclusion of our seventh season, at which time Dr. Kenneth Meints was selected as the orchestra's third Music Director and Conductor. The 2017-18 year marks our nineteenth season of concerts.
Naturally, a community orchestra is a collection of diverse individuals. We all have different reason for getting involved and we come with different gifts and skill levels. Yet there are certain things that we have in common that unify our efforts and define the character of our ensemble. We can summarize our core principles using the following 10 statements:
- We believe that the performing arts are essential ingredients in building a high quality of life for individuals and communities.
- We believe that all performing groups in the Omaha area should be valued for what each of them contributes to enhance the total musical climate of our community, rather than be in competition with each other.
- We believe that amateur musicians are valuable assets to the musical life of any community.
- We believe that the concerts offered should be of musical interest, enjoyable to the public, and supportive of local artists.
- We believe that rehearsals and concerts should be inspiring, edifying and meaningful for the participants.
- We believe that each musician should manifest musical integrity and strive for continuous growth and self-improvement.
- We believe that mutual respect and camaraderie should permeate every aspect of orchestral activity.
- We believe that the significance of the arts justifies a commitment to excellence in performance and administrative procedures.
- We believe that each section of the orchestra should be chaired by persons with experience and leadership gifts.
- We believe that a passion for music and the pursuit of a high standard of performance will be normal for all participants.
- President: Patricia Terry (Violin)
- Vice President/Past President: Nate Griffith (Tuba)
- Secretary/Grant Writer: Marian Kaiser (Violin)
- Treasurer: Daniel Rooney (Bassoon)
- Personnel Manager: Linda Autenrieth (Violin)
- Concerto Competition/Printed Program Chair: Michelle Juon (Cello)
- Players Committee Chair: Bruce Bender (Oboe)
- Website/Social Media Director: Christine Seeman (Viola)
- Grant Researcher: Tina Shogrin (Flute)
- Fundraising Projects & Sr. Outreach Chair: James Wilson (Violin)
- Music/Program Director: Dr. Kenneth Meints (ex-officio)