Orchestra’s new chair looks to forge links with business

Mar 13, 2013


Directors have begun a comprehensive review of the orchestra’s activity and has already linked with several leading organisations in the city.


Speaking at the orchestra’s Annual General Meeting, new chair Marian Livingstone (pictured) said that the orchestra had to deliver a wider and more popular programme of concerts and increase its income streams.


She has been joined on the board by four new directors: human resources expert Angela Rhodes, of Crispin Rhodes HR; Illuminis IT founder Paul North; Michael Benn and chartered accountant Liz Newell, of Keens Shay Keens, who has been elected treasurer. Peter Barnes becomes deputy chair.
Mrs Livingstone, managing director of Milton Keynes-based public relations company Livingstone White, said: “There is a strong appetite for MKCO as an important pillar of culture for Milton Keynes. We are the only professional orchestra performing here, and in some ways the best kept secret.
"We will not lose sight of our roots and a section of our programming will always involve contemporary and sometimes challenging work. But our job is to move forward and provide the classical music that a wider circle of people know and understand and want to listen to.”
The orchestra is talking to Milton Keynes Parks Trust about staging a Proms in the Park concert in Campbell Park in August and is working with Milton Keynes Community Foundation on its Music Bursary. University Campus of Milton Keynes has pledged its support as the orchestra begins work to build its local audience.
The partnership work is vital to success for MKCO, Mrs Livingstone said at the AGM, held at Walton High School.
She added: “We are carrying out a root-and-branch review of the organisation, concentrating on increasing our skill base and putting a huge amount of effort into improving our income streams and performing an attractive repertoire.
"In challenging economic times we are grateful for continued grant support but we cannot survive without improving ticket sales and being attractive to philanthropists, and engaging with local businesses to engage through funding and corporate and social relationship activity.”
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