Charles “Ebbie” Alfree III is The Delaware Symphony Orchestra’s Director of Development, as well as this week’s #PeopleOfWilmDE. Read more of his story below.
“As I like to say, I was born, raised, and stayed in Delaware! I grew up in New Castle. My father’s family has been in the town since the 1800s.
As a child, I didn’t spend much time in Wilmington, I only came into the city a handful of times to see shows. It wasn’t until I was 15 in 1990 that I really spent time in the city. I was in the chorus of Opera Delaware’s “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” at The Grand Opera House. I enjoyed being in the city for rehearsals and performances.
After that experience, I started visiting Wilmington more regularly and got to know the city. My first job out of college was with Wilmington Trust. In 1998, I was transferred from the Claymont branch to the Wilmington Trust Center (the building on Rodney Square). I spent most of my lunch hours (and paychecks!) at Govatos, Shipley Grill, Cavanaugh’s, and other restaurants.
Over the years I became more and more attached to the city and in 2012 I bought my first place in Trolley Square, where I still live! I LOVE that I can park my car at my building and walk to all the “Trolleywood” stores, galleries, restaurants and bars, and Brandywine Park!
3 interesting facts about me are:
- Besides working for Delaware Symphony, I’m also a realtor with Pantano Real Estate and I work part-time at Frank’s Wine.
- I host zoom interviews with artists working in the First State for the Delaware Arts Info blog.
- I learned how to use a sword by a samurai in Japan and how to tango by a professional dancer in Argentina!
I love so many events held in the city, but the most immediate one that comes to mind is the Clifford Brown Jazz Festival. I’m always amazed by the artists who perform over the course of the event each year. I enjoy seeing musicians I admire and being exposed to new acts.
I recently had the honor of playing “Drosselmeyer” in the Wilmington Ballet/Academy of the Dance’s 2021 production of “The Nutcracker.” I am not a ballet dancer, so I felt like a fish out of water. Thankfully, my role didn’t require much dancing, just movement. I LOVED working with the company. Everyone associated with the production was very talented and welcoming! I had such a FUN time with the cast, creative team, and crew! It was also a thrill to perform at The Playhouse on Rodney Square! Besides going to The Playhouse my whole life to see shows, my grandmother also performed there in the 1930’s, so it was a very special experience being on that stage! ZAH-ZAH!
Wilmington is an EXCITING city that keeps getting better! I LOVE all forms of art and Wilmington has so much to offer… from live music and theater to gallery openings and exhibitions. It’s hard to keep up with everything that’s happening in our city!
I hope we get to a place where all Wilmingtonians have access to the services needed to lead healthy, productive, and happy lives. We need strong support services in place to ensure everyone in Wilmington may overcome any barrier that is keeping them from succeeding in life.
My advice to people working and living in Wilmington? Support our local nonprofit organizations, artists, events, and businesses. These entities make cities unique and interesting!
Also, start walking! I believe Wilmington should be a walking city! Yes, I-95 splits Wilmington, but there are walkways across it, so don’t let that stop you! I walk from my home in Trolley to my office in the Community Service Building, to the Riverfront, and all over the city! My partner and I have even walked to the train station with our luggage and went to Florida! Let’s get walking, Wilmington!”