Why I Give: Dr. Dan Mowrey

ISO advocate Dr. Dan Mowrey discusses his musical beginnings and why he thinks it's important to support your orchestra.


Have you always lived in Indiana?


  • I grew up in a small town in Nebraska. I took a job at Eli Lilly and Company in 1980 and have been in Indiana ever since.


Did you ever play an instrument?


  • My musical experience did not begin until I was in high school and specifically the high school band. I was part of the percussion section. When I played in the marching band, I played the snare drum. When I played in the concert band, I played most of the instruments associated with the percussion area except the timpani.


Do you remember when you first heard classical music?


  • My first “encounter” of classical music was not until I started graduate school at Iowa State University. My officemate would listen to it and I just grew accustomed to it. In fact, most of the people in the mathematics area listened to classical music especially if they were working on a problem.


What has been your favorite musical experience with the ISO so far?


  • It is hard to pin down a favorite musical experience since I tend to like most forms of music. I definitely like Yuletide Celebration because it brings together the symphony with singing, dancing, and celebrating. I like Symphony on the Prairie because one can simply relax and enjoy the music of the past and present and even do a little dancing if one feels so bold. Finally, I like the classical concerts, especially if there is a guest playing an instrument or singing. I am always amazed at how guest artists can remember these pages of music and then how they come in at just at the right time with just the right emphasis in perfect sync with the orchestra.


How is your life better with music?


  • Music lifts me up when I am down, comforts me when I need comforting and gives me a lift when I work out. It helps me celebrate special occasions like weddings, graduations, and even funerals. It helps me share my feelings with my brothers and sisters in the church and my brothers and sisters in the world. It helps me share my patriotism with my country and it helps me to remember the past and all the great things that have been accomplished over those years. I would hate to see a life without music.


Why is an orchestra important to a community?


  • There are communities that do not have an orchestra and for the most part they survive. However, for those communities that have an orchestra, they thrive. Orchestras make sure that we do not forget the music of the past as well as bring us the music of today. They reach out to the community and try to assist in ways that they are able. They educate children as well as adults on the importance of music and how one must preserve it just like one must preserve the environment and the animals that inhabit it. Finally, an orchestra can lift up a community when it is down and celebrate with it in times of joy.


What types of music do you enjoy besides classical?


  • I feel very fortunate to grow up when I did, late 50s, and moving forward. I have enjoyed blues, country, dance, pop, a little funk, hip hop, jazz, Motown, rock, a little punk, and rhythm and blues. I would not say that I like every song from each of the categories but I do enjoy some of the music.


What led you to donate to the ISO? Why is this important to you?


  • From a personal perspective, I give because I am selfish, I like it and I want it to be around while I am here. From a broader perspective, a save the planet perspective, I want people who come after to me to enjoy what I have enjoyed and hopefully continue the process.


If you're interested in enjoying the many benefits of becoming an ISO donor, visit the ISO support page today!

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