The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra has announced two large-scale initiatives named to honor the legacy of Andrew J. Brady, longtime Cincinnati music teacher and orchestra and band director at Western Hills High School from 1944-1976.
Beginning in 2022, the CSO will launch its Andrew J. Brady Neighborhood Concert Series in community hubs across Cincinnati and also the Andrew J. Brady Internship Program for students pursuing careers in orchestra administration.
“Through the new neighborhood concert series and paid internship program, Andrew Brady’s love of music lives on,” said Jonathan Martin, president and CEO of the CSO. “His legacy serves as a model for building community through music, and we embrace the call to pay it forward.”
Born on Jan. 3, 1915, to a large musical family in Jonesboro, Arkansas, Andrew J. Brady grew up playing trumpet, violin and piano with his father and siblings. Later in life, Andrew enrolled in the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and graduated with his bachelor’s and master’s degree in music education. He taught music at Rothenberg Elementary School in Over-the-Rhine before moving to Western Hills High School, where he remained as an orchestra and band director for 32 years. In addition to teaching, Brady performed in area jazz bands on weekends and during the summers, he led popular band concerts at parks across Cincinnati and Hamilton County.
“Andrew Brady’s summer concerts served as direct inspiration for our neighborhood concert series,” said Martin. “They were free and open to the public to enjoy, and they became a treasured fixture of Cincinnati summers for many decades.”
An evolution of the collaborative work with community partners over the past three years – led by Tiffany Cooper, CSO director of community engagement and diversity – the CSO and Pops will present at least five free public concerts next summer, four of which have been scheduled:
- Sunday, June 19, Maple Ridge Lodge (in partnership with Westwood Works)
- Thursday, July 14, St. Aloysius (in partnership with Crown Jewels of Jazz and St. Aloysius)
- Saturday, July 16, Laurel Park (in partnership with Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses)
- Saturday, Aug. 6, Owl’s Nest Park (in partnership with Evanston Community Council)
“Westwood Works is proud to partner with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra to bring the Brady Concert Series to Cincinnati’s largest and most diverse neighborhood,” said Leslie Mattie Rich, executive director of Westwood Works. “It’s fitting that one of these concerts would take place on Cincinnati’s West Side where Andrew Brady inspired and cultivated a love of music among his many students.”
In addition to the neighborhood concert series, the Andrew J. Brady Internship Program, launched this past fall, is a season-long paid internship experience in which interns gain direct experiences in orchestra administration. Interns are paired with mentors from the CSO senior management team to develop professional networks and gain insights on unique career paths. The program aims to elevate students from backgrounds not significantly represented in the orchestra industry, remove barriers to access and inclusion, and provide real-life applications to school curriculum.
“The CSO is fully committed to diversity and inclusion, and the Andrew J. Brady Internship is another step to help us become more reflective of our community and world,” said Harold Brown, CSO chief diversity and inclusion officer. “This paid internship will help accomplish that through dedicated mentorship and hands-on-experiences in all aspects of the CSO that will create a pathway for emerging talent to progress into leadership roles.”
According to Martin, the series and internship are “emblematic of Mr. Brady’s commitment to bring music to everyone and include everyone. We are humbled by the continued generosity of an anonymous donor, which makes possible these unprecedented opportunities.”
Venue name change
To further amplify the visibility of Andrew J. Brady and honor his contributions to Cincinnati, the name of the music venue recently opened at The Banks by the Ohio River will now be The Andrew J. Brady Music Center, dropping the word “ICON” from its name. Opened in July 2021 and operated by Music and Event Management, Inc., a subsidiary of the CSO, the state-of-the- art music venue has already hosted such artists as Earth, Wind & Fire, St. Vincent, Nelly, and Jason Isbell, and serves as a centerpiece for the region’s music scene.
“The modification of the name stems from a desire to elevate and ensure the lasting legacy of Andrew J. Brady, who cared deeply about making music accessible to all,” said Martin. “The values that Andrew Brady embodied align with our organization, and this pays tribute to the impact he had on the community.
“Andrew J. Brady made an indelible impression on generations of people here in Cincinnati,” said Martin. “He believed in the power of music to elevate life, and these two programs will help celebrate his legacy in our community and take the CSO into the future.”