Young Patron Event

Take Note!

George Washington University
Apr 30, 2024, 5:30 – 7:00 PM

Before the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra takes the stage, join the Washington Performing Arts Junior Board to learn about the orchestra’s riveting program (including Beethoven’s infamous Symphony Pastorale) with music researcher, historian, and George Washington University (GW) alumna Megan Ortman.

Take Note! is a free educational session that is perfect for both new and experienced symphony goers who want to better understand the history of the music being performed. No matter what, there is something new for everyone to learn!

Complimentary appetizers and drinks will be served. Space is limited. RSVP required.

This event is a short walk from the Foggy Bottom Metro station and The Kennedy Center’s complimentary shuttle service.

About the Junior Board
Comprised of young professionals and performing arts enthusiasts ages 21-40, the Washington Performing Arts Junior Board makes an impact in D.C. and beyond through its commitment to philanthropy, leadership, and advocacy. The Junior Board builds an artistic community of their peers, develops their leadership network and skills, and adopts philanthropic projects with meaningful impact. From enjoying roof-top cocktail hours to advocating in Junior Board meetings to supporting education initiatives, the work of the Junior Board is as varied as its members.

Interested in becoming a member? Learn more about their impact through non-profit service here.

More About the Presenter

Megan Ortman

Megan OrtmanMegan Ortman is a soprano, researcher, and arts administrator based in Washington, D.C. A native of Dallas, TX, Megan studies music from the 14th to 20th centuries and has sung with venues and organizations around the world. Favorite roles include Despina (Così fan tutte) and Marcellina (Le nozze di Figaro) with Winter Harbor Music Festival in Winter Harbor, ME; Sally (Die Fledermaus) with Victorian Lyric Opera Company in Rockville, MD; Erste Knabe (Die Zauberflöte) with Alexandria Summer Nights Young Artists Festival in Alexandria, VA; and Zerlina (cover, Don Giovanni) with Vienna Summer Music Festival in Vienna, Austria.

As a historian, Megan has researched music of all kinds across the Atlantic World. In 2023, Megan performed a recital titled Voicing Femininity in which she presented an interconnectedness of feminine expression across 19th-century aria and art song and challenged the false dichotomy so often made between the two musical forms. In 2021, she received the prestigious “Sons of the Revolution Award” from the DC chapter of The Sons of the Revolution for her research on Scott Joplin and his opera, Treemonisha. This was the first time the award was presented for work focusing on music, not visual art.

Megan’s most recent research focuses on 19th-century Italy and the operatic prima donnas of that time. Megan frames this title as not only an artistic distinction but also a political one; she seeks to investigate how the position of prima donna afforded women political power they otherwise would not have had access to, and in turn, what they did with it. In her research, she came across a monograph written in 1823 by contralto Geltrude Maria Giorgi Righetti in defense of Rossini’s music, demonstrating that “prima donna power” does, in fact, have sway in the public sphere. Megan is currently translating Righetti’s writing from the original Italian in her free time.

A practitioner of multiple art forms and a participant in myriad performing arts organizations, Megan positions herself as uniquely equipped to facilitate music-making and streamline organizational administrative processes. After seeing the effects of ineffective administrators, especially in education-based programming, she holds an ongoing goal to build collaborative artistic spaces that run well, work for the artist, and go beyond traditional hierarchies and power structures. Megan currently works as the Program Manager at the Children’s Chorus of Washington, where she oversees internal and public-facing communications, rehearsal operations, and musical programming for 250 young singers.

To learn more about Megan and her work, visit

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