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Newport Symphony and Oregon Coast Aquarium Collaboration

To celebrate the reopening after a closure in 2020, the Oregon Coast Aquarium and the Newport Symphony Orchestra collaborated to create a music video in front of the sea otter window. Appropriately, “Variations on Water Music Themes”, Handel arr. Kummer, Allegretto was performed by cellists Adrienne Welsh and Vicki Strauss.
The partnership between the Aquarium and the Symphony came about when long-time Aquarium volunteer, Melody Lavrakas, found herself making final plans for a youth concert for elementary school students. The morning of the concert, everything was cancelled. The next day, she was notified that the Aquarium was closing due to COVID-19, and she could no longer volunteer.
“When the pandemic started and things were shut down, I realized the Symphony was not the only community organization that would be majorly impacted. I thought about the various nonprofit community groups that would be having the same challenges as the Symphony,” says Melody Lavrakas.
Melody thought about how fellow nonprofits could help each other during the closures. As a member of the Symphony Board, Melody pondered how the Symphony could help the Aquarium. She approached the Symphony Board about preparing a video of two of their musicians performing at the Aquarium—something both the Aquarium and the Symphony could use to reach out to patrons. The Board approved funding and taking on the project. Melody contacted the Aquarium and made the offer. 
“It is evident our coastal cultural organizations are highly valued for community enrichment. This collaboration not only helps sustain both organizations, but it is also a virtual balm in a time of crisis. Pairing the soothing quality of classical music with the mesmerizing beauty of the natural world is just the remedy our society needs to ease the anxiety of our times,” says Molly Dumas, Director of Development for the Oregon Coast Aquarium.
“Our sources might have been limited as to what we could do, but we can always reach out and help. My hope is the Aquarium can use the music video as a gift to their and our patrons and to keep them aware of these great organizations during this difficult time,” says Melody.
“When Melody shared the idea with me, I remember thinking, Wow! This is a perfect collaboration between two fantastic community institutions—supporting our beautiful sea creatures and beautiful symphonic music," says John Lavrakas, former Board President for the Newport Symphony Orchestra.
The Newport Symphony Orchestra and the Oregon Coast Aquarium are nonprofit organizations based out of Newport, Oregon. Help support these organizations by visiting Donate to Newport Symphony or Donate to Oregon Coast Aquarium.
About Newport Symphony Orchestra
The Newport Symphony Orchestra is the only full-season professional orchestra on the Oregon coast, enhancing the quality of life in Oregon’s coastal communities with diverse, inspiring performances and engaging educational activities. • 548-868-9155 • Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for concert info and news.

About Oregon Coast Aquarium
The Oregon Coast Aquarium creates unique and engaging experiences that connect you to the Oregon Coast and inspire ocean conservation. An accredited Association of Zoos & Aquariums institution, this 501(c)3 non-profit organization is ranked as one of the top 10 aquariums in the U.S. Visit us at 2820 S.E. Ferry Slip Rd., Newport, OR. • 541-867-3474 • Follow us on Facebook or Twitter for the latest updates.

Newport Symphony at Oregon Coast Aquarium - Short Video