Musical Musings

Meet an Orchestra Volunteer: Hugh Steele

Hugh SteeleHugh Steele was an underclassman at Wabash College in Indiana when he discovered himself to be a truly diehard classical music fan.

"During what they called 'hell week,'" he remembers, "one day the seniors played Ravel's Boléro for 24 hours straight on the house intercom system—and I loved it."

Hugh drew on that appreciation through 31 years as a Certified Financial Planner with Merrill Lynch. Even on stressful days at the office, streaming classical music on his computer could always restore Hugh's sense of calm and clarity. He admits he retired a little sooner than he might have liked:

"I think because I had wanted to work a little bit longer, I was just kind of lost for the first year," Hugh says. But in his second year of retirement, Hugh became an Orchestra subscriber, then he heard about a need for volunteer ushers at Holley Hall.

"Hugh is a delight to have on our volunteer usher team," says Patron Services Manager Natalia Nicol. "He is kind, thoughtful, and always goes above and beyond what’s expected. We are grateful for his dedication to the Orchestra!"

"It's fulfilling, something that I can feel good about doing: meeting people as they come in, helping to make their concert experience enjoyable. I want people to feel at home," Hugh says. For the past two years, he has also served as president of the Sarasota Orchestra Friends, which brings music-lovers together in advocacy and support for Sarasota Orchestra's mission.

"The Friends are, number one, for promoting the Orchestra. But it's also a lot of fun to meet people and get others involved while promoting a spirit of friendship within the Orchestra," he says. Hugh still loves to usher at concerts, but his favorite volunteer activities center around the Sarasota Youth Orchestras' events and performances.

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Don't Miss These
Special Events

Join us to celebrate our 75th Anniversary at these exciting events.

Dinner Series
Six Dinners throughout the season

Orchestra Brunch
Sunday, November 12, 2023

Celebrate 75 Concert and Gala
Thursday, February 15, 2024


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About Us

Our mission is to engage, educate, and enrich our community through high-quality, live musical experiences.


Sarasota Orchestra is committed to making our performances and facilities accessible to everyone in our community.

All of the Orchestra’s facilities are accessible to persons using wheelchairs.

Assistive listening devices are available for all Orchestra performances.