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Mayoral proclamation recognizes the new citizenship of the Philharmonic conductor

Lexington Philharmonic Music Director Melisse Burnet conducting the orchestra on 07-03-24
Stu Johnson
Lexington Philharmonic Music Director Melisse Burnet conducting the orchestra on 07-03-24

The annual patriotic concert in Lexington this week included the reading of a mayoral proclamation. It was to honor one of America’s newer citizens.

For the first time, the performance on Transylvania’s campus found a woman conducting the Lexington Philharmonic. Melisse Brunet led the orchestra in front of Old Morrison. Brunet became an American citizen in February, the conclusion of a 14-year process.

“The City that gave me my chance and took me as a music director is recognizing me and doing that on July third is…I mean…pinch me I cannot believe it’s happening,” said Brunet.

The Paris France native said she loves Lexington so much from the day she started, adding it is special and magical. Following the performance Brunet was asked about becoming a citizen during an interesting time in U.S. history.

“That’s a country that has so much to offer and we all go through hard times. This is one of them. Let’s fight for the country. Let’s fight for our country. For my country,” said Brunet.

Brunet said citizenship shouldn’t be given freely, that it’s important to get to know the culture, to love the culture. Brunet said she fell in love with the U.S.

Brunet led the Philharmonic before an audience seated on the lawn in front of the pillared building, crossing well into Gratz Park.

Here's more with Lexington Philharmonic Music Director Melisse Brunet:


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Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 35 years. His primary beat is Lexington/Fayette government.
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