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Committees Member Spotlight

France Campbell
Committee(s): Upper Bay Philharmonic Committee

When did you start volunteering as a Committees member?
I knew of the Upper Bay Philharmonic Committee because I was involved with its members since 1965. They performed at the monthly meetings of MUSIC, an Interest group of UCI Town & Gown. Finally, in 1985, when I stepped down as President of Town & Gown, I joined Upper Bay Committee as Vice Chair of Ways & Means.

Why do you volunteer as a Committees member?
I volunteer because of D-Day. I am French and it is my way of saying thank you to the soldiers who helped serve my country. Volunteering has always been my way to “give back.” I help raise funds for students’ scholarships at UCI and bring music to the children in Orange County, allowing them to be introduced to music, even learn how to play an instrument. Those are gifts which are life changers: getting a better education, enjoying any kind of music.

Do you have a favorite volunteer moment or memory?
My favorite memory is when Rita Major, the Philharmonic Society Director of Education at the time, invited me to go to a school in Costa Mesa [for a Strike Up the Band grant presentation]. The band was already in the auditorium, ready for rehearsal. Some kids were holding instruments, many were empty-handed. Then, the kids started to smile, pointing as different size cases were brought on the stage. As soon as the band leader said: go get your instruments, they rushed. What a sight it was, over a dozen boys and girls kneeling on the stage floor and opening their own cases. Their expressions of joy and wonder were amazing, all smiling as they touched the keys, raising the instrument high in the air to show it to a friend or their teacher. Then spontaneously some came toward us saying thank you. I became so teary I hid behind a curtain.

What is your favorite Philharmonic Society concert?
For me, nothing has surpassed attending the very first concert in the U.S. of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Seeing how intently young performers were watching as they leaned toward their seniors helped me understand how the famous Vienna sound came to be.

Do you play any instruments?
I was very lucky to have piano lessons for many years.

What's your favorite artist, song, or type of music?
I love classical music, Italian and French Opera, Orleans Preservation Hall Jazz Band as well as Sidney Bechet, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, etc. My favorite songs are “Until we meet again” and “April in Paris.”

What's your favorite Philharmonic Society Youth Music Education Program and why?
My favorite Philharmonic Society Youth Music Education Program is the Music Mobile. It is wonderful that any child can look at so many music instruments, hold one in his/her hands, try it, and then, thanks to The Committees, end up playing in their school band, high school orchestra, etc.

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For more information on volunteering,
Call: (949) 553-2422, ext. 222
Email: Volunteer@PhilharmonicSociety.org