National Philharmonic performer speaks out amid closure


NORTH BETHESDA, Md. (WDVM) – This week, the National Philharmonic Orchestra announced it may need to close if it is not able to secure funding from the County Council.

The National Philharmonic Orchestra has fallen silent after decades of music in Montgomery County. The National Phil is well-known for its performances and music education.

“Thousands of students have come through our doors for free, if our program ceases, I think there’s going to be a hole that nobody else is going to be able to fill,” said Leila Rao, a choral performer with the NP.

Leila Rao is a Montgomery County local who’s been a choral performer with the NP for several years. She worries about the impact of losing an organization like the National Phil.

“I was really heartbroken because not only as a performer, for the loss that the families of this county are going to have to deal with, it’s such an impactful organization that really supports the health of our community,” said Rao.

Rao says it won’t only affect musicians and performers, but anyone who appreciates music.

“Everyone remembers the first time music impacted them, it’s important to everyone’s lives and our organization cannot do it alone,” said Rao.

The Montgomery County Council was not responsive to our questions or requests for comment but did issue a written statement expressing their disappointment in the organization’s decision to cease operations earlier this week.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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