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The Oklahoma City Philharmonic’s new conductor is getting to know his new home with a series of unique field trips.

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OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA -- Practice is wrapping up for Oklahoma Energy FC and the team left just enough time to introduce a new rookie from Frankfurt, Germany by the name of Alexander Mikelthwate.

If you're an Energy fan though, don't expect to see him at midfield for matches.

Mikelthwate grew up playing soccer with his brothers as a kid, but most of the time he was practicing music not sports.

On the pitch he's not so special, but at the podium Alexander is the OKC Philharmonic's new Maestro.

"We have one thing in common," he tells the assembled coaches and team. "I am the coach. The difference is that in the game, in the performance, I'm still there."

Of course, not every Energy fan gets a chance to kick a goal against the pros, but he is a bit of a celebrity, and he's in a hurry too.

His experiences in Oklahoma prior to moving here were on a road trip across the country years ago.

"I saw Oklahoma skyscrapers from a distance on the highway," he recalls.

Most of the rest of his knowledge came from weather news and western movies.

"Of tornadoes and horses," he continues. "I don't know. Cornfields."

Just as a good conductor must know his players and a good coach his, as a new Oklahoman Mikelthwate thought it might be a good idea to get to know his new home so he and his marketing team sent him on a summer full of local field trips.

He and his family visited the Chickasaw Cultural Center near Sulphur, drove a little on Route 66, hiked Martin Nature Park, and rafted at the OKC Riversport Rapids.

Mikelthwate says, "It's unbelievable what's actually happening in the city, and I love it."

He's not sure if all this activity will leak into his conducting style on the podium but Maestro Mikelthwate does this his new sense of place will affect what kind of music his orchestra will play.

Goals in soccer and in music are the same, after all.

Know what the audience wants and deliver in style.

That idea translates no matter where you live.

If you're interested in seeing more of Alexander Mikelthwate's summer of adventures in Oklahoma go to the Philharmonic's Facebook page at

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