The McKinney Philharmonic Orchestra was founded by Artistic Director Jason Lim as the Odysseus Chamber Orchestra in May 2012 in Denton, Texas. The orchestra consists of professional classical musicians from the Dallas/Fort Worth area dedicated to building a strong community through music and the arts.
Its successful inaugural performance in 2012 featured local soloists such as Christopher Deane, Professor of Percussion at the University of North Texas. Soon after, Artistic Director, Jason Lim, commissioned the world premiere of “Breathe” by Brad Robin. In 2019 the orchestra performed the US premier of Musica Con Cello, by Pavel Karmanov with Principal Cellist, Tess Crowther as soloist. The orchestra then embarked on innovative collaborations such as: staging a full ballet performance of Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” with the Denton City Contemporary Ballet; the North Texas premiere performance of Igor Stravinsky’s “A Soldier’s Tale” with ae:mp Amity Perry and Company; teaming with world renowned double bassist Jeff Bradetich to feature the Tango music of Astor Piazzolla; and a collaboration with legendary guitarist Andy Timmons. In 2018, the orchestra shared the stage with Grammy Award winning Polka band, Brave Combo! Today the McKinney Philharmonic has expanded its concert season, performing up to seven subscription concerts, which includes series that is innovative and diverse including Pops, Family, Chamber Music, Recital and Classical. The programming of the McKinney Philharmonic has reached national recognition with Artistic Director, Jason Lim winning the The 2021 American Prize in Orchestral Programming / Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award—professional division.
In its short history, the orchestra has garnered a growing national reputation as an emerging ensemble, winning second and third prizes in the American Prize Competition for professional orchestras in 2014 and 2015, respectively. In 2016, the orchestra was awarded the Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for excellence in performing American Music. In addition, the orchestra has supported local service clubs like the Denton Breakfast Kiwanis Club and the Robson Ranch Kiwanis Club, and sponsored events such as the Eliminate Project Cruise and the Passing of the Banner Dinner. In recent years, it has expanded its outreach by providing free chamber music series concerts, free amenity concerts in neighborhoods,
Educational school tour performances that is TEKS aligned and collaborating with the Arts and Music Guild to organize the Summer Music Intensives a week long music workshop for middle and high school orchestra students.
In 2017, The Greater North Texas Youth Orchestra was launched thus enhancing the mission of the organization. Members of the McKinney Philharmonic Orchestra serves as mentors to the youth orchestra students providing them with knowledge and experience to help our youth further their desire and aspirations in pursuing music as a career. The youth orchestra enjoys a wide array of programs such as the “Mentorship Program”, which provides exceptional high school orchestra students the opportunity to rehearse and perform in the McKinney Philharmonic Orchestra’s subscription concerts, the “Side-by-side” program where the youth orchestras combine with McKinney Philharmonic Orchestra in an annual collaboration, and the annual “Concerto Competition”. In 2019, The Celtic String Ensemble was launched, directed by Principal 2nd Violinist, Keyreel Raskolenko, this program provides students with a rare opportunity to study traditional music the way it was intended, by ear.
In 2019, the organization changed its name to the McKinney Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) to better reflect its growing ties with and support received from the City of McKinney.
The McKinney Philharmonic Orchestra is dedicated to strengthening, deepening and broadening its connection to the community of McKinney and surrounding areas through music.
OUR CORE VALUES
-Connection to our communities
-Organizational Viability and Innovation