Q & A with Ira Lomench, Advancement Council Member

ira lomenchAdvancement Council member Ira Lomench (UCNB ’88) has been an opera buff since childhood. His all-time favorite: Giacomo Puccini’s La Bohème. Lomench, who works at the brokerage firm Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, describes the music from the opera as “very sweet, melodic and emotional,” and says he goes to see it very year. Lomench says he was inspired to join the Mason Gross Advancement Council when he began attending concerts and operas on campus.I saw the high quality of these professional events and wanted to be a part of it,” he says. Here Lomench speaks about why he continues to support Mason Gross:                                                                        

Q: Why did you get involved with the Mason Gross School?

A: I have always had an interest in opera, and the expanding program in opera preparation for students at Mason Gross really piqued my interest. Mason Gross applies rigorous standards to selecting students. I wanted to fund scholarships for students in the professional areas I have an interest in.

Q: What makes the opera program at Mason Gross special to you?

A:  The high level of professionalism that these students exhibit, and the quality of their voices with the hope of them achieving even greater heights.

Q: Why do you love opera?

A:  My mother was a pianist for silent movie houses. She played her entire life. When I was 14 she took me to my very first opera, at the Met [in New York City]. I don’t remember which opera it was, but I remember that the music was very melodic. I went maybe twice with her, and it has been a love of mine ever since.

Q: How do you hope your generosity impacts our opera program and specifically your opera scholarship recipients?

A: I hope to see over the course of time the program becoming bigger and more successful so that others will be persuaded to donate to this wonderful undertaking.

Q: Final words?

A: I hope that my interest in the opera program becomes contagious and spreads to other potential donors.