Music lovers celebrate Atlantic Classical Orchestra 20th Anniversary

VERO BEACH — Twenty years ago, a musical visionary felt there was a need for a local, professional orchestra.  Rather than taking the “someone should” approach, Andrew McMullan took his abilities as a conductor and successful businessman, and did; he founded the now world-class rated Atlantic Classical Orchestra.

The orchestra presents concerts in Vero Beach and Stuart, and music lovers from both towns gathered Tuesday evening for a 20th Anniversary Celebration Gala at The Moorings.  The orchestra’s Friends committee opted for a Flying High into the Future theme for the Gala, so the decor included colorful bunches of balloons to set the mood, and hot-air balloon ride auction items to reinforce the idea.

The event also provided the opportunity to honor Andrew and Jean McMullan along with others, including current Music Director and Conductor Stewart Robertson and ACO Chairman Kevin Grady, who have contributed to the overwhelming success of the Atlantic Classical Orchestra.  McMullan passed the baton in 2004 to the Grammy-nominated Robertson and Grady has been instrumental in garnering financial support for the organization.

Following the cocktail hour, guests were treated to a concert by a ten-piece orchestra, made up of ACO musicians, playing a delightful program of Viennese music.  The orchestra started up again after a delicious crab cake and filet minion dinner, topped off with a decadent opera cake, so that guests could enjoy some ballroom dancing.

Other honored guests at the event included sponsors Virginia and Warren Schwerin, ACO Executive Director Lawrence Kopp, and board members from Stuart and Vero Beach; ACO  board member John Beckert was the evening’s master of ceremonies. {igallery 158}

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