At her day job, Melanie Fahey wields a computer and pen to craft words and strategies for one of the world’s largest energy companies. But off the clock, Fahey picks up a different tool to communicate, one made of curvaceously crafted, mahogany-colored wood and a tightly laced ribbon strung from 150 horsehairs.
For Fahey – internal communications advisor U.S. for Shell Oil Company at its Woodcreek campus – is also a violinist in the Energy Corridor of Houston Orchestra, known as ECHOrchestra, which has been delighting audiences in West Houston for three seasons now.
Fahey is just one of several amateur musicians pursuing their musical passions beyond work as part of ECHO. The orchestra is made up of amateur, professional, retired and semi-retired musicians, many of home live or work in The Energy Corridor.
Better still, Fahey gets to make beautiful music, literally, with her husband, Michael Fahey, who happens to be musical director and conductor for the orchestra.
“Playing in the orchestra benefits me in a number of ways,” she explains. “I've made new friends, and the challenge of learning the music keeps me on my toes. Also, it's important to me as something that my husband and I can do together.”
The amateur violinist has been working at Shell for nearly four years. She’s began studying the violin since 6th grade.
“Please don't do the math on that,” Fahey laughs.
At her day job, Fahey is responsible for supporting Shell’s U.S. communications and engagement plan, while providing strategic internal communications support to U.S. Downstream and Shell Eco-Marathon Americas teams. Shell recently announced it will move about 3,400 employees from its downtown Houston tower to facilities in The Energy Corridor. And Fahey is looking forward to working with a larger ensemble.
“Shell's Energy Corridor Woodbranch location is a beautiful campus and it will be energizing to have more of our employees in one location,” she explains.
Fahey also hopes the new employees will experience an ECHO performance.
“ECHOrchestra offers wonderful concerts for the Energy Corridor community,” Fahey says. “They are relaxing and entertaining and I hope my Shell colleagues and other Energy Corridor community members will come to one of our concerts this year.
“It's a great group,” she says, “and my fellow musicians look forward to our rehearsals each week as a time to share in both the music and community.”
For more information about ECHO, visit www.echorchestra.com.