Our mission 

Hello and welcome to the website of Queen City Chamber Orchestra. As the founder and artistic director I am excited to let you know about a fantastic new opportunity to help support the Arts and Arts Education in Cincinnati. We have officially gone non-profit. That means all donations made to us within the last 18 months and in the future are officially tax deductible if you itemize your deductions.

To date, QCCO has had almost a year of making fantastic music. In August of 2018 we played our inaugural (mostly) community orchestra concert at Philippus. October of 2018 we gave our second concert which included many aspiring professional musicians. We gave them the opportunity to make money doing what they want to do off-campus in the real world. This concert also afforded four violinists the opportunity to add a solo concerto with orchestra to their resume before they graduated. In addition, we introduced our audience to live theorbo, and harpsichord. December was a fantastic jazz concert by Emily Jordan and her trio. January we played all Bach including a fantastic lecture recital format performance of “Das Musikalisches Opfer” including baroque flute. In Febuary, we started the “Recitals at Philippus” series giving many aspiring professionals (ten recitals in all) from CCM, Miami University, and Northern Kentucky University the chance to present their graduating repertoire to a public audience while learning how to organize and advertise for non-college recitals. In April, we took Cincinnati talent to Columbus on our first run out for the Communicare Family of Nursing Homes’ end of the year event. On Mother’s Day, we gave two proud mothers the chance to hear their kids play concertos, one of which included the historic Christian Moerlein organ at Philippus. In June we went out again, this time, bringing basset horns to the Batesville Music and Arts Festival in Batesville, Indiana. On July 5th we played the 1749 original version of Handel’s Royal Fireworks music as a pop-up concert event on Fountain Square. Our final event of 2019 will be another big concert at Philippus including Mozart “Jupiter,” “Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” and the Bach d minor harpsichord concerto.


The coming year includes: Peter and the Wolf, Bach Brandenburg Concerto no. 2, Haydn and Telemann trumpet concertos, Bach Orchestral Suite no. 2, Mozart flute and harp concerto, Beethoven Violin Concerto and Septet, Schubert Octet and Lachner Nonet. We have also been asked to present a lunchtime concert of Mozart's clarinet quintet at Trinity Episcopal in Covington, Kentucky. 

At QCCO our mission is threefold: Education, Experience, and Enhancement. Foremost, we perform live concerts of easily accessible small to mid-sized orchestral music that is recognizable from modern culture in order to bring orchestral music out of museums into our everyday lives. We provide a reception environment where guests can meet the soloist and performers, talk about instruments that are new to them (like theorbo), and connect what they heard with the real world we live in before they walk out the door. My personal goal as artistic director is to hear an audience member say, “Wait! I’ve heard that live” when they hear Mozart or Bach in a movie.

One of the most difficult aspects to building a professional career as a musician is getting real experience both as a soloist and in conjunction with non-professional community. The opportunity to perform a concerto with a live orchestra starts an artists engines on the right path. Also, newly graduated professionals have often concentrated so hard on learning their craft that they come into the world with little experience engaging the hobbyist – many of whom will play an integral role in their early career as teachers, section leaders, ringers, etc. In order to meet that goal we fuse talented rising professionals with Cincinnati’s most skilled community players. The community players get the opportunity to make excellent music with top-grade rising stars and the will-be pros get experience being a section leader to people who play for fun.


Most importantly, because all of our concerts are FREE, we offer the experience of hearing music you know and love, not from a cd, but LIVE and in the fantastic acoustics of Philippus United Church of Christ located on the backside of Over the Rhine – all for the price of walking in the door.

Lastly, by providing free concerts and going out to do community events QCCO sincerely wants to enhance our communities. We want to reach past a world of divisive tastes and connoisseurship and have fun with the music that once set the world on its ear so hard that it vibrates through our society hundreds of years later. We want to show our upcoming generations that careers in music are not impossible; to show the world the value of engaging art music in this modern world.


As you can see, we are doing big things at QCCO and we need your help to keep them coming. Until now, we have been solely supported by a very few generous donors and the amazing assistance from Philippus United Church of Christ. Now that we’ve gotten a good start, we need to diversify our support structure. We are writing grants but as a beginning non-profit with almost a year in existence it is extremely difficult to get money. If we are to continue to bring the education, experience, and live music to anyone who wants to get involved in Cincinnati, we really need your help. Please consider becoming a one-time donor or continuous patron to the most exciting new orchestral adventure in Cincinnati. Your donation will help keep this genre of music alive for the next generation.

You can hear most of our performances (and some rehearsals) on our YouTube channel by typing Queen City Chamber Orchestra into the search bar. To donate, please contact us through Philippus UCC at (513) 241-5244 or you can reach out to QCCOrchestra@gmail.com. To stay on top of what exciting things are to come, check us out at QCCOrchestra.com and like us on Facebook.


Thank you for your support,

Shawn Charton


Artistic Director