The Conductor of Collaboration
“Having worked at Jazz at Lincoln Center and now working for the Philadelphia Orchestra, it’s nice working in these nonprofit areas because there is a deep level of concern for what I do.”
Michael Albaugh would be the first to tell you that he loves what he does for a living, and what’s not to love? As the Director of Collaborative Learning for the Philadelphia Orchestra, it’s Michael’s duty to ensure that the Orchestra reaches out to the community and plays music for all to hear in the City of Brotherly Love. From visiting young students in places like Overbrook School for the Blind, to providing free concerts all over the city, the Philadelphia Orchestra realizes the importance of getting young people interested in the arts and excited about the promise of music.
“We want to be more than just an orchestra; we want to be more than just being somebody in a hall. We want to break down those barriers and try to transform a different cultural understanding. Knowing that I get to be a part of that and help to drive that initiative forward...that’s the best part of this job.”
The WVU Alumni Association team joined Michael for a free concert at The Philadelphia Eagles NovaCare Complex, which was presented as part of a partnership between the Philadelphia Orchestra’s HEAR (Health,Education, Access, and Research) Initiative and the Philadelphia Eagles Autism Challenge. The sensory-friendly concert provided a safe and casual space for all to enjoy music while children were encouraged to dance and express themselves freely as the Orchestra played well-known pieces.
“We want inclusion to be a part of everything we do, so with that in mind we felt it would be great to establish a partnership where we could bring the Orchestra down here (to the NovaCare Complex) and open the facility to the community… a great way to celebrate South Philly.”
Having grown up in West Virginia, Albaugh became a Doctor of Musical Arts at West Virginia University in 2004 and says there couldn’t have been a better place to have finished his education.
“I wear the Gold and Blue with pride. There are so many alumni in Philadelphia and New Jersey and I love when I see someone else with the(flying) wv,” said Albaugh, “I was born and raised in West Virginia and I still have Mountaineer pride in my blood.”
To learn more about the Philadelphia Orchestra and the HEAR initiative visit: https://www.philorch.org/education