An orchestra composed of doctors and other medical professionals—the first of its kind in Central Texas—will perform its first concert in October.

The Central Texas Medical Orchestra will not only provide medical professionals with a creative outlet, but proceeds from concert ticket sales will benefit local health-related nonprofits.

Founder and executive director Walter Laich, a financial and business adviser who also plays classical guitar, decided to launch the medical orchestra after his daughter successfully fought cancer. He had visited her at M.D. Anderson Medical Center in Houston where she was receiving treatment and came across a flier for the Texas Medical Orchestra also based in Houston.

"It's just my way of giving back and getting to hang around really challenging people," he said.

Laich decided the timing was right for such an orchestra in Central Texas with the new Dell Medical School underway. He said there is also a strong correlation between people in the medical field and music. Two studies from the 1990s found that music majors are the most likely group to be admitted into medical school, according to the NAMM Foundation, a nonprofit supported by the National Association of Music Merchants.

"I've been hearing from doctors about them playing and getting away from the stress of the job," Laich said. "It also provides camaraderie and lets their minds focus on something else."

CTMO is still seeking about 20 doctors and other medical professionals to fill the orchestra. Laich said the orchestra will have 45 musicians for the first year and eventually total 80–85 musicians in the next four years. Robert Radmer will serve as the music director for the orchestra. He is the founder and music director of the Balcones Community Orchestra and director of the St. Edwards University Symphony.

For the first CTMO season, concerts will be at LifeAustin Church at 8901 W. Hwy. 71 in the Oak Hill area. Laich said eventually two concerts will be in North Austin and two in South Austin. For more information, visit CTMO's website.