- Written by Helen Kelly
- Published: 09 February 2011
This month, the Atlantic Symphony Orchestra officially welcomed Duxbury attorney Jim Hartford to their Board of Directors.
Hartford said he was delighted by the invitation and excited about the opportunity to contribute.
â€œI first heard the ASO perform last year in April,â€ he said. â€œI saw vibrant young musicians who were also highly skilled, very excited about playing their instruments and invested in mastering some of the most challenging pieces in the musical literature. I wanted to be part of this organization and help it grow.â€
The timing was just right. In prior years, ASO board members had been music lovers or musicians, principally involved with the choice of programs. The orchestra relied on word of mouth for new donors. Todayâ€™s ASO board is a more typical nonprofit board comprising people with a range of experience, a wide variety of perspectives and an adventurous spirit.
Hartford fits the bill on virtually all counts. He is open to possibilities â€” and this openness showed up early on. At his high school, there was a small radio station. After a couple of visits, and news of an opening, Hartford took over a classical music show along with responsibility for choosing themes, matching time frames and piece lengths and making up playlists.
Hartford said he has always loved all manner of music from classical to country and bluegrass. He played the clarinet from fifth through 10th grade and for a few years played with the school orchestra.
â€œI also tried to learn the violin,â€ Hartford said, smiling as he remembered. â€œI inherited a violin from my grandfather. The instrument itself was so beautiful it was inspiring, so I tried. It wasnâ€™t a great success but I worked at it. After all, itâ€™s one of the wonderful things in life if you can make an instrument sing, and itâ€™s also great when youâ€™re trying.â€
Hartford described himself as an overextended, eclectic sports dad. Roy Harris, co-president of the ASO, said he welcomed the new board memberâ€™s energy.
â€œJim brings passion about the community and the orchestra along with good sense about the tough world of fund-raising for the arts â€” and about how to run an organization like ours intelligently.Weâ€™ve named Jim head of the ASOâ€™s Governance Committee, where heâ€™ll help guide expansion of the board,â€ Harris said.
Hartford and his wife Liz, who have two children, have lived in Duxbury since 1987. He has been in private practice, has been a partner in a firm of general contractors and currently works as counsel to a variety of profit and nonprofit organizations.
So can the ASO win away some of the Plymouth Philharmonicâ€™s audience?
â€œNot at all,â€ Hartford said. â€œThe ASO and the Phil arenâ€™t competitors; each has a different focus. Weâ€™re lucky to have both.â€