Wintley Phipps & The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra
Many consider Wintley Phipps as more than just an artist, but also he is an inspiration. Born in Trinidad and Tobago, this two -time Grammy Award nominee is an ordained Seventh-day Adventist minister, world-renowned vocal artist, and innovative initiator of special projects such as the US Dream Academy. Highly acclaimed for his spectacular and often historical performances, Phipps has performed for six American Presidents including Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama as well as performances for Mother Teresa and President Nelson Mandela. Mr. Phipps work has been featured numerous times on television, including appearances on the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. television special, Dr. Robert Schuller's Hour of Power Telecast, the Bill Graham Crusades, Saturday Night Live, Soul Train, and the Oprah Winfrey Show. He is also a seasoned international lecturer, sharing his message of hope in various venues throughout Europe, Australia, Asia, Africa, and North and South America. In 1998, Phipps founded and created the U.S. Dream Academy, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to providing a values-based, interactive, tutorial and remedial education program targeted at children and youth-at-risk through community Family Learning Centers located in various states. Seeing a need, Phipps wanted something to help break the cycle he saw played out so many times in his own family. Phipps formed the U.S. Dream Academy to help children who've had a family member behind bars. The program provides mentoring, academic tutoring, and exposure to computers and the Internet. Phipps says, "Just the computers themselves are not going to transform the lives of these kids, the most important part of our program is really the caring, loving adults who surround them." The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra is Central Florida's resident professional orchestra, appearing in more than 125 performances each season. The Philharmonic's mission is to foster and promote symphonic music through excellence in performance, education and cultural leadership. The Orlando Philharmonic proudly enters its 18th anniversary in the 2010-2011 Season, led by Christopher Wilkins in his fifth season as Music Director. As an educational resource, the Orlando Philharmonic annually performs 30 Young People's Concerts for over 60,000 Orange, Seminole, and Volusia County Public School, private, and home school students at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre. The Philharmonic strives to initiate community collaborations. Since its inception, the orchestra has partnered with the Orlando Opera, Orlando Ballet, Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra, Florida Young Artists Orchestra, the Orlando Museum of Art, the Orlando Science Center, Bethune Cookman University, the University of Central Florida, Stetson University, the "Negro Spiritual" Scholarship Foundation, Mad Cow Theatre, the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park, the Orange County Regional History Center and many other prominent organizations.