For 34 Years
Thirty-four years ago, Andrew “Andy” McMullan heard more than the sounds of the surf along the Vero Beach coastline… he heard the beauty of classical music and dreamed of bringing a professional orchestra to Florida’s Treasure Coast. Today, Andy’s vision, the Atlantic Classical Orchestra, has become a cultural gem in our community. With the help of many generous patrons and dedicated volunteers, Andy was able to fulfill his promise.
For listening and for inspiration, audience shall thrill to
the highest level of performance of classical music
performed by the Atlantic Classical Orchestra.
“I had to get to know this cellist who could think on her
feet and not panic,” said conductor Andrew.
Andy and Jean were married in 1950.
When Jean and Andy first met, Andy had received is MM from Rochester’s Eastman School of Music and accepted a position as Director of Bands at the University of Connecticut. Jean Gentry was completing her MA in music at the same University. In his newly formed UConn Concert Band, with few musicians yet available due to World War II, Andy searched for a competent flutist. He came across a timid flute player who had a penchant for “freezing” when the music required otherwise. He recruited student cellist, Jean, to learn the rudiments of the flute and sit beside the flutist to coach her entrance at a solo passage. Alas, during the inaugural concert, while playing to a packed audience, the flute player breathtakingly froze … and Jean saved the moment by filling in with simple notes.
The McMullans formed a partnership that has been stellar throughout the decades. Andy’s music career moved from band work to orchestra performing and conducting. When Andy left a tenured position at the University, he bought a 12-employee business that flourished as a manufacturing company of 160 employees until he sold it 34 years later. He never left his profession of performing on French horn and conducting chamber music, opera and symphony. He also helped Jean achieve her lifelong goal of owning and directing an international camp – Alford Lake Camp in Hope, Maine. They had three children Mark, Keith and Kathy (daughter Kathy Kopani played violin for 18 seasons with the ACO), performed decades with the Portland Symphony and, at the same time, both worked tirelessly for the Maine, New England, and American Camp Associations.
How the ACO was launched!
“Quick – have we got all the music? Where’s tonight’s rehearsal? Are we taking the turnpike or I-95? Don’t forget the sandwiches.”
In January 2019, we said good-bye to visionary and founder, Andy McMullan. Yet, his legacy carries on. The Atlantic Classical Orchestra continues to fill the souls of audience across the Treasure Coast with the beautiful sounds of the great masters and emerging new artists.
We are forever grateful for his vision, artistry and incredible spirit for providing a platform for professional musicians to share their gifts with our community – and the world!