The Oregon Coast Aquarium Partners with the Newport Symphony Orchestra


Newport, Oregon — During the Aquarium’s recent closure, the Newport Symphony Orchestra and the Oregon Coast Aquarium collaborated to provide a new form of enrichment for our otters. Together, a music video in front of the sea otter window was created. The very appropriate music “Variations on Water Music Themes”, Handel arr. Kummer, Allegretto was performed by cellists Adrienne Welsh and Vicki Strauss.

The partnership between the Aquarium and the Symphony came about when long time Aquarium volunteer, Melody Lavrakas, found herself making final plans for a youth concert for the elementary school students, the morning of the concert everything was cancelled. The next day, she was notified that the Aquarium was closing due to COVID-19 and she could no longer volunteer.

“When the pandemic started and things were shut down, I realized the Symphony was not the only community organization that would be majorly impacted. I thought about the various nonprofit community groups that would be having the same challenges as the Symphony,” says Melody Lavrakas.

Melody thought about how fellow nonprofits could help each other during the closures. As a member of the Symphony Board, Melody thought about how the Symphony could help the Aquarium. She approached the Symphony Board about preparing a video of two of their musicians performing at the Aquarium, something both the Aquarium and the Symphony could use to reach out to their patrons. The Board approved funding and taking on the project. Melody contacted the Aquarium and made the offer.

“It is evident our coastal cultural organizations are highly valued for community enrichment. This collaboration not only helps sustain both organizations, it is a virtual balm in a time of crisis. Pairing the soothing quality of classical music with the mesmerizing beauty of the natural world is just the remedy our society needs to ease the anxiety of our times,” says Molly Dumas, Director of Development for the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

“Our sources might have been limited as to what we could do, but we can always reach out and help. My hope is the Aquarium can use the music video as a gift to their and our patrons and to keep them aware of these great organizations during this difficult time,” says Melody.

“When Melody shared the idea with me, I remember thinking, Wow! this is perfect collaboration between two fantastic community institutions, supporting our beautiful sea creatures and beautiful symphonic music,” says John Lavrakas, former Board President for the Newport Symphony Orchestra.

The Newport Symphony Orchestra and the Oregon Coast Aquarium are nonprofit organizations based out of Newport, Oregon. Help support these organizations by visiting or today.
Julie Woodward Director of Marketing (541) 867-3474 x1130 2820 SE Ferry Slip Road Newport, Oregon 97365

About Oregon Coast Aquarium The Oregon Coast Aquarium creates unique and engaging experiences that connect you to the Oregon Coast and inspire ocean conservation. An accredited Association of Zoos & Aquariums institution, this 501(c)3 nonprofit organization is ranked as one of the top 10 aquariums in the U.S. Visit us at 2820 S.E. Ferry Slip Rd., Newport, OR., 541-867-3474. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter for the latest updates.

About Newport Symphony Orchestra The Newport Symphony Orchestra at the Ocean is the only full-season professional orchestra on the Oregon coast, enhancing the quality of life in Oregon’s coastal communities with diverse, inspiring performances and engaging educational activities. 541-574-0614. Follow us on Facebook.


2820 SE Ferry Slip Rd
Newport, OR 97365


The Oregon Coast Aquarium is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization located in Newport, on the beautiful Oregon Coast. The Aquarium is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.