Jody Chaffee – One in Five Orchestra Musicians in Country To Receive Ford Musician Awards

For Immediate Release

Jody Chaffee, Firelands Symphony Orchestra’s Flute II and Piccolo Chair

One of Only Five Orchestra Musicians in the Country to Receive

Ford Musician Awards for Excellence in Community Service from

League of American Orchestras

Chaffee to Present at the

League’s 73rd National Conference in Chicago, June 13-15


Huron, OH (May 31, 2018) – Firelands Symphony Orchestra Flute II and Piccolo Chair, Jody Chaffee, is one of just five orchestra musicians from across the U.S. who will receive Ford Musician Awards for Excellence in Community Service from the League of American Orchestras at the League’s 73rd National Conference in Chicago, June 13-15, 2018. Recognizing the transformative power of music, the Awards honor those in the orchestra field who employ music for the benefit of the greater community.

A licensed music education instructor, Ms. Chaffee’s comprehensive age-appropriate music programs are designed to surprise and delight children, instilling a desire for life-long learning of music and the arts.  “Each and every day Jody goes above and beyond as she engages with the students of our area’s schools.  “Ms. Jody”, as she is adoringly known by her students, not only shares her infectious enthusiasm for music, but her zest for life and can-do attitude with every child she comes in contact with”, says FSO Executive Director, Laurie Korobkin.

The FSO Music Education Program provides over 5,000 area school children in grades pre-kindergarten through 12th grade with programs designed to excite, engage and encourage music learning while also meeting academic standards for the state of Ohio.  Each school year, area musicians and guest artists make over 350 visits to public and private schools throughout Erie and Huron counties.

“This program is an evolving project that was originally conceived in 2012 in an effort to engage the youth in our community and serve to expand the depth and breadth of the FSO mission”, said executive director of Firelands Symphony Orchestra, Laurie Korobkin. “Over the past six years our programming has grown into what it is today with the support of parents, teachers and school principals as well as local philanthropic individuals and our community foundations”.

The Firelands Symphony Orchestra’s mission is “enriching lives through music”.  As a major contributor to the arts and culture in North Central Ohio, we believe that enhancing music education is an essential part of the FSO’s mission.  Supporting music and music education in our schools has never been more vital as our communities struggle with unemployment, economic survival and relevancy in a world economy.  We know we are having a truly positive impact not only in our students’ lives, but in the lives of their families and ultimately our communities in general.

“We at the Geotrac Foundation, a small family foundation in Norwalk OH, have supported Jody’s efforts to bring music of all kinds to elementary children throughout our area. After about five years we are absolutely stunned by the impact she is having on our kids,” said Founder and Chairman of Geotrac Foundation Daniel White. “Children in rural communities like ours are generally “music deprived.” Jody’s tireless and enthusiastic work in our schools is creating a generation of music lovers. Her devotion to music and education is unique and infectious.”

“Having Jody’s educational efforts recognized with the Ford Musician Award for Excellence in Community Service from League of American Orchestras is an outstanding accomplishment and highlights the importance of the FSO Music Education Program” says FSO Music Director and Conductor, Carl Topilow.

“These five musicians are committed leaders and advocates who inspire their colleagues around the country with their skill and expertise in community settings,” said League of American Orchestras President and CEO Jesse Rosen. “We are grateful to Ford Motor Company Fund for supporting this vital work and helping us honor these role models.”

“We’re proud to recognize the generous service of these talented musicians, who go above and beyond to help make people’s lives better,” said Yisel Cabrera, Manager, Government and Community Relations, Ford Motor Company Fund. “Music and the arts bring people together and strengthen our communities, and that’s a benefit we can all share and enjoy.”

The musicians will receive their awards at the League of American Orchestras’ Conference Luncheon, June 14 at 12:30 p.m., and discuss their work at Social Impact Beyond the Concert Hall: A Musicians’ Panel, an elective session for Conference delegates on June 14 at 8:45 a.m.

Jody Chaffee is a musician with the Firelands Symphony Orchestra in Sandusky, Ohio.  For over 15 years she has held the chairs of Flute II and Piccolo.  In addition to musician, she also serves as the Personnel Manager and Librarian for the FSO and newly formed FSO Chorale.  As Music Education and Community Engagement Director, Jody creates and presents programming for all ages ranging from infancy through adulthood.  Outside of the orchestra, Jody is part of a professional flute quartet, High Frequency, which performs for a large variety of events.  Jody was a 1991 graduate of Poland Seminary High School and graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education. Holding a current Ohio teaching license, Jody worked as a band director for 6 years and currently assists various band programs throughout the state of Ohio.

The five award recipients and their orchestras are:

Jeffrey Barker, Associate Principal Flute, Seattle Symphony: Lullaby Project, Sensory Friendly Concerts, Simple Gifts Initiative, among others.

John R. Beck, Principal Percussion, Winston-Salem Symphony: HealthRHTHYMS drumming with cancer and pediatric behavioral health patients, collaborative research study with physicians on the benefits of interactive group drumming.

Jody Chaffee, Flute II and Piccolo Chair, Community Engagement Director, Personnel Manager, Librarian, Firelands Symphony Orchestra and Chorale (OH): Providing in-school access to quality music programs for students in rural communities.

Erin Hannigan, Principal Oboe, Dallas Symphony Orchestra: Concerts for Kindness, DSO’s Young Strings program, DSO Teen Council.

Juan R. Ramírez Hernández, Violin, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra: Musicians in Schools, Musicians in Communities, and Talent Development Program, among others.









Photos Above: Ms. Jody with students in classrooms


 About Firelands Symphony Orchestra

The Firelands Symphony Orchestra (FSO) is a vital regional arts organization sustained by strong community support and patron loyalty. The FSO provides a cultivating appreciation for musical excellence through education and community outreach, maintaining high standards of organizational and financial stability, in addition to engaging audiences with outstanding live performances. The FSO is proud to continue the legacy of enriching lives through music. Visit

About League of American Orchestras

The League of American Orchestras leads, supports, and champions America’s orchestras and the vitality of the music they perform. Its diverse membership of more than 2,000 organizations and individuals across North America runs the gamut from world-renowned orchestras to community groups, from summer festivals to student and youth ensembles, from conservatories to libraries, from businesses serving orchestras to individuals who love symphonic music. The only national organization dedicated solely to the orchestral experience, the League is a nexus of knowledge and innovation, advocacy, and leadership advancement. Its conferences and events, award-winning Symphony magazine, website, and other publications inform people around the world about orchestral activity and developments. Founded in 1942 and chartered by Congress in 1962, the League links a national network of thousands of instrumentalists, conductors, managers and administrators, board members, volunteers, and business partners. Visit

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