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Nancy Mellor hopes to bring interest in amateur music to Lodi

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Posted: Friday, November 2, 2012 8:00 am

When Nancy Mellor and her husband Reed attended a concert at Hutchins Street Square several years ago, they were surprised to that a city paid so much attention to its local arts and venues.

“Lodi is a fascinating community,” she said. “I was very impressed by the importance Lodi places on the arts.”

The Mellors have now called Lodi home for more than four years, and Nancy Mellor is getting involved by becoming the newest commissioner of the Lodi Arts Commission.

Mellor has always had a strong belief in civic involvement. Since she retired from a career in education — first teaching, then a school administrator and superintendent of schools in Kings County — life has been busy. She has been president of the local American Association of University Women and was the director of a summer program in Berkeley for children of farmworkers for 25 years.

After moving to Lodi from the Bay Area, she worked on an Arts in Public Places project assembling mosaics that are now placed in the sidewalks of east Lodi.

“I did a yellow part on the mosaic. I am very proud of my part of a yellow flower,” she laughs.

While working on the mosaic, she spoke with an arts commissioner who encouraged her to find out more about the commission.

She thought, “If they’d like my help, I’d be honored to join them,” said Mellor, who joined the commission on Oct. 3.

One of her main goals as arts commissioner is to bring more special interest to amateur music groups in Lodi, if there is a need and a desire, she says. Music is a big part of her own life.

“It’s been my main interest since I was 13,” she said.

Since middle school, she has played the flute. She remembers going to plein air painting groups with her parents, who would often ask her to play flute as they painted outdoors.

She was embarrassed as a teenager, but loves to play now, especially when she gets to work together with a group to make music. Before moving to Lodi, she was the principle flute in the Kings County Symphony.

Five years ago, she decided to learn the cello, which she plays with several local orchestra groups. She was a member of the Lodi Community Band, a group she enjoyed performing with because they promote traditional band music and they are committed to playing in Lodi. When she took up the cello, she joined the string orchestra at San Joaquin Delta College.

In Lodi, an amateur symphony is already forming. And, Mellor says a great opportunity already exists in Lodi, with the First Friday Art Hops being a possible place for groups to showcase their musical talents.

Contact Lauren Nelson at laurenn@lodinews.com.

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