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About Us

VCU Health Orchestra members

VCU Health Orchestra

We are one of the few academic medical centers in the United States to have its own symphony orchestra. Created in 2017, the orchestra consists of health system team members including nurses, physicians, administrative staff, support staff, students, alumni and strategic community volunteers. The orchestra plays a mix of music, including orchestral, classical and pops intended to reach a broad audience.

See videos of our latest performances

Our orchestra was recently featured on the Today Show with Willie Geist. We hope you enjoy our story.

View our Today Show story

Mission statement

To promote wellness and enhance relationships among team members, patients, families, visitors and the community, and to support fundraising for local health related charities.


  • Foster collegiality and wellness among orchestra team members
  • Create new and enhanced relationships with the community
  • Support and perform at health system and community health-related charitable events
  • Mentor pre-health students
  • Mentor conducting students 


The orchestra practices on Wednesday nights from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the VCU Health Parham Road Building from September through June.

Advisory Group

  • Dr. Francesco Celi MD, MHSc Co-founder/President
  • Theresa Erichsen RN BSN FACCE LCCE IBCLC Co-founder/Executive Director
  • Kara Dods MD/PhD student- Orchestra Manager
  • Will Pattie MM -Conductor
  • Paul Budinger BMusic, Paramedic- Assistant Conductor
  • Natalia OBrien MM- Concertmaster
  • George Harple BMusic Education/Performance- Artistic Director
  • Dr. Mimi Perberdy MD- Marketing
  • Dr. Joe Ornato MD- Media
  • Susanna Klein MM- VCU Liaison
  • Pablo Talamante BMusic/Graduate Studies-Creative Consultant
  • Stephan Lazar BMusic Education, Medical Student- Personnel Manager