The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Progress 2014

April 12, 2014

Life for ESO director is more than music

ENID, Okla. — By Bridget Nash

Staff Writer

Many Enid residents recognize Douglas Newell as the music and executive director of Enid Symphony Orchestra, but Newell can be found enhancing the community with his talents in various pockets of the city.

“I have had roles in a couple of Gaslight (Theatre productions), and I look forward to more,” Newell said. “I love the stage. It gives me a different outlet from music. There are a lot of wonderful people involved in Gaslight.”

Newell attended North Carolina School of the Arts as a music major but also studied theater. His children have continued the tradition by being involved in theater, as well.

Another creative outlet Newell has a love for is the art of the automobile.

“I’m a car enthusiast,” he said. “We own two Porsche 944s, an ’86 and an ’88. I love to tinker and to drive and take myself on trips.”

“The most important thing I did as a kid was compete in the national Soap Box Derby,” he said.

Soap Box Derby events are car races at which kids make and race their own cars down a hill.

“It got sophisticated,” said Newell. “You learn a lot (making the cars).”

His involvement in Soap Box Derby races and his job in college as a mechanic’s assistant fueled his passion for automobiles.

Spending time under the hood is only one of the ways Newell works with his hands. He also enjoys carpentry, and he and his wife, Lawana, enjoy painting projects.

“I’ve always been interested in making things,” Newell said. “I wanted to be an architect when I was younger. I studied drafting in high school.”

But Newell is best known for using his hands to communicate in the language of music, and his talent is spread thickly throughout the area.

Newell is director of the Chancel’s Choir at First United Methodist Church in Enid. His first experience with directing church music came when he was a teen. Newell said his first job was choir director at a Lutheran church when he was 17 years old. He also spent 11 years as the orchestra teacher at Enid High School.

Newell’s contribution to the world of music doesn’t end with Enid’s city limits.

“I’m a consultant for other non-profit arts organizations for young musicians through the New England Conservatory for Music and North Caroline School of the Arts Mentor Programs, and I mentor young executive directors who lead other orchestras,” he said.

Newell also is on the roster of Arts Consulting Group based out of Los Angeles, New York and Boston. Being on the roster of this organization means Newell is a recommended potential mentor for other arts organizations.

Currently Newell travels one day a week to Alva, where he teaches voice.

Newell came to Enid in 1983, and he led the campaign to turn the old Knox Building into Enid Symphony Center, which allowed him to utilize his musical talents as well as his carpentry skills.

When he isn’t making things or sharing his musical gift, Newell enjoys spending time with his children and grandchildren.

“We’re very, very proud of our children,” he said. “They were all born in Enid. We came here 31 years ago with no children.

“I have just been very fortunate to be around so many people with so many diverse skills,” Newell said. “I don’t think there is anyone I’ve ever met that didn’t make an impression, that didn’t make me a more well-rounded person.”

When he has some down time, Newell said he explores his avid interest in politics and also likes to read music history.

Text Only
Progress 2014
  • City_Boards_2_BH.jpg City committees are like a 2nd pair of eyes

    “The value is they see things I don’t see. Sometimes they’ll have questions on things I haven’t thought of." — Enid Woodring Regional Airport Director Dan Ohnesorge

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • progress cover.jpg Growing Forward

    The Enid News & Eagle is publishing eight special sections that explore the progress made and the challenges faced in Enid and northwest Oklahoma. Please click on the ENE's Progress 2014 section front to view the featured individuals, businesses and organizations, concluding this week with Community Service, and see prior editions, Health and Wellness and Economic Development, Education, Northwest Oklahoma, Family, Agriculture and Energy and Faith.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Watermelon_1_BH.jpg A historic trail from trash to treasure

    When Frank “Watermelon” Campbell kicked off his 42-year career with the railroad, he was given a lantern.“It didn’t prove very satisfactory because it would go out on me,” Campbell said, adding railroad officials told him to buy a new lantern and throw the first lantern in the garbage. “Well, I never (threw) it in the garbage. I kept it at home. And that’s what started my railroad collection.”

    April 12, 2014 4 Photos

  • Visual_Art_1_BH.jpg Recreating city of Enid into a work of art

    “Overall, I hope to see some art that adds vibrancy and creativity throughout Enid. When you have a vibrant and creative town, it attracts more residents and work force.” — Visual Arts Committee member Kelly Tompkins, Main Street Enid director.

    April 12, 2014 3 Photos

  • ATSCounseling.jpg A great partnership

    “There is no doubt we have good numbers. We can’t brag on ATS enough for our guys, because it’s rare.”
    John Lipsey, DOC Assistant Supervisor for the Northwest District

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Suzy_Miebergen_BH.jpg Roots dig deep to keep Enid beautiful

    There is property value, pride, visitors coming, businesses coming,. The way your city looks, they’ve proven over and over again it’s in the top five things they’re going to notice.” — Suzy Meibergen, chairwoman of Keep Enid Beautiful

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Master_Gardners_BH.jpg Project is growing

    Garfield County Master Gardeners is brought to the county by Oklahoma State University Extension, and there currently are more than 60 members of the volunteer group.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Doug_Newell_1_BH.jpg Life for ESO director is more than music

    I have just been very fortunate to be around so many people with so many diverse skills. I don’t think there is anyone I’ve ever met that didn’t make an impression, that didn’t make me a more well-rounded person.”
    Douglas Newell, music and executive director, Enid Symphony Orchestra

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Park_Avenue_1_BH.jpg Park Avenue Thrift is passionate about Enid

    “People are jealous of David and I because we have a wonderful job. But we’re nothing without our people.” — Paula Nightengale

    April 12, 2014 3 Photos

  • EHS_Community_Service_1_BH.jpg Getting involved all part of a good education

    Jenny Root, special education teacher at EHS, has served as sponsor of Community Service Club at Enid High School for about 10 years. “I believe community service is an important part of education,” Root said.

    April 12, 2014 3 Photos