Philip Gould is a member of the Orpheum’s Club of 20 and a long-time donor. He has been a Board member for 7 years and now serves as Board Chair. We sat down with him to hear about his unique connection to the Theatre.
You have a unique connection with the Orpheum Theatre Group through your dad, Sam Gould. Tell us about him.
My dad was a professional drummer who toured the country. In the early 1930s, he landed a job in Memphis when he was hired by the Orpheum as the house drummer. This was at the height of vaudeville, just three years after the Orpheum reopened. So, as I was growing up, I was heavily influenced and guided by his love for music. My family went to New York City pretty regularly to go to Broadway shows or see some jazz. I grew up loving the performing arts.
Did you play music, too?
I followed in my dad’s footsteps for a while and played drums all through high school. I was the drummer for my high school’s production of Oklahoma!, which was actually the first musical ever produced at Memphis University School.
And now, you’re a supporter of the High School Musical Theatre Awards.
Yes! I love the High School Musical Theatre Awards and I strongly encourage everyone to see that show every year. The kids are just incredible. The Education staff at the Halloran Centre have done an amazing job introducing new programs that are engaging our young people in the community in a new way. The talent in our Mid-South students is just astounding. I love to see young people finding a love for the theatre so early on.
Helping young people find a love for the theatre – is that what inspires you to support the Orpheum?
I love what’s going on at the Orpheum right now. Every year, the Broadway season is outstanding but it’s so much more than that. With Mending Hearts Camp, Camp SAY, summer workshops for both kids and teachers – there are endless ways for people in the community to engage with the Orpheum. It’s important to me to give to this organization that is doing so much good.