Phyllis Goodman Lamont Donor Profile
by Ian Wisekal
For Phyllis Goodman, Denver native and president of the Lamont Society Council, musical involvement started in the form of piano lessons. “I was pretty terrible,” she recounted with a laugh, “but it was a thing to do.” Later, it was Goodman’s late husband, Neal, who brought music into the home. A physician by training, jazz piano was his passion, and a love for music became contagious in the Goodman household.
Over a decade ago, Jan Friedland invited Goodman to join the Lamont Society. No stranger to volunteering and the arts, she happily accepted the invitation. “I enjoyed the people, I enjoyed the school,” she explained, “and of course I enjoyed the music.” Before becoming president, Goodman served in a number of positions on the Council, helping with event planning and recruitment efforts.
Curiosity is also a driving force behind Goodman’s involvement. Beyond the springtime Showcase Lamont gala, which she describes as “exceptional,” Goodman attends a variety of concerts throughout the year by students and faculty alike. She particularly treasures Day at Lamont: “It’s one of my most favorite experiences,” she said, being able to sit in on lessons to get a peek behind the scenes and glimpse the work that goes into those performances. Goodman tries to mix it up, attending different classes and ensemble rehearsals each year.
Not being able to attend in-person events was trying for Goodman, who likes to stay active. She exercised her curiosity in different ways, taking online classes in music, art and architecture through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). She also got involved with a discussion group of eight other women, shifting meetings between outdoors with masks, Zoom, and, post-vaccinations, each other’s homes.
The new president has high hopes for the coming year. “Working with Keith Ward is just an amazing opportunity,” she said, citing his “wonderful ideas and know-how.” Goodman is looking to increase the activity of the Lamont Society: not just by attracting new members, but by encouraging more involvement from current members. Looking ahead to the fall, it will help, she predicts, to get people out to hear students and meet faculty in person.
Goodman, who has traveled to all seven continents including Antarctica, is now most excited to travel to the concert hall to hear live music again. “It will be so wonderful to get the school back open to audiences,” she said. And Lamont looks forward to having Goodman, and audience members old and new, back in its halls.