Lawton Philharmonic Orchestra hopes to keep healing and educating through music

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — If you are a lover of classical music, then you may be interested in this Texoma nonprofit organization known to heal and educate through music.

For 60 seasons the Lawton Philharmonic Orchestra has brought music to Southwest Oklahoma, even virtually last year when the pandemic hit.

But now they need help transitioning into this new normal amid COVID-19.

“We are one of the largest and oldest orchestral music live in a facility in this part of the country that has never gone 100% dark,” Lawton Philharmonic Orchestra board member Ronda Norrell said.

Norrell said though it was not easy they were not about to allow the pandemic to end that streak.

“We had to get very creative, we had to find a way to bring music to people and to continue our mission of outreach for youth and outreach into the community and to provide live music, with that we ended up doing recorded virtual concerts,” Norrell said.

And Norrell said somewhat to their surprise it was successful.

Not just successful, Norrell and the society’s Executive Director Patty Neuwirth said it was essential for those people who struggled emotionally or mentally with the pandemic.

As they try to operate in a new normal, they say donations are more important now than ever.

“Our budget is about $280,000 a year because we use professional musicians [and] about 30% is donations and of course we sell advertising in a program,” Neuwirth said. “We lost about 50% of our income.”

So they have a simple message to keep the music playing in these tough times.

“Attend all your arts events that you can support them, it’s so important,” Neuwirth said.

For the love of the arts, Norrell and Neuwirth ask for your support.

The Philharmonic Orchestra is accepting donations through Texoma Gives on Thursday.

Follow this link to donate to the 16-hour online giving event to help this organization keep the music alive.

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