A longtime champion of the Columbus arts scene, Anne Melvin believed in the power of music—and felt the Columbus Symphony Orchestra (CSO) was the epicenter of a vibrant, collective group of local arts organizations.
Born Diana Jeffrey Harris in Columbus, Anne was a graduate of Smith College and attended the Capital Conservatory of Music. She spent years volunteering with WOSU-FM and CSO, was a board member with both organizations, and a staunch supporter of many other local nonprofits, both inside and outside of the arts. She had a tremendous love for her husband, S. Noel Melvin, who passed away in 2014, as well as her three children, and four grandchildren.
Anne’s commitment and dedication to the arts in our community created an opportunity for countless people of all ages to experience the magic of music—both during her lifetime and in perpetuity. Her passion for music lives on through her legacy.
“Anne was sophisticated, very well traveled,
extremely accepting, and tolerant.”
— Rossen Milanov
“Anne was a person who played an instrumental role in our cultural community,” said Rossen Milanov, Music Director of the CSO. “She was very smart, forward thinking, and strategic in her support for the CSO. Anne also supported the other cultural organizations that were indirectly related to the symphony. In order to have an opera and a ballet, you need to have an orchestra.”
Anne’s generosity enabled the symphony to establish the CSO Musicians Outreach Fund in 2014 and CSO Fund for Sustaining Excellence in 2016. Both funds help position the symphony to do great things both now and in the future. In addition, her Planned Gift will provide ongoing support to local organizations for generations to come, including additional support for CSO. Anne passed away in December 2016.
Through the CSO Musicians Outreach Fund, small groups of musicians have an opportunity to perform throughout the city, in places like Nationwide Children’s Hospital, St. Vincent Family Center, and Wesley Ridge Retirement Community, just to name a few.
“Ultimately, we are in the business of inspiring people. Unless you have an opportunity to experience that in the concert hall, live, I don’t think words could possibly describe the feeling. Anne was very much about that,” Rossen said.