At the League’s 74th National Conference, we will place music, musicians, and composers at the center of our conversations, recognizing that their voices and their work bring creativity, innovation, and inspiration to orchestras’ continuing adaptation to a rapidly changing world. We will explore the new frontiers of “excellence” that last year’s keynote speakers, and indeed, our environment, call upon us to pursue. We will continue to embrace the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion that must remain in the forefront of our national conversation and action.
Featured speakers listed in alphabetical order.
Music Director, Martha & Bronson Ingram Music Director Chair, Nashville Symphony
Giancarlo Guerrero is a six-time Grammy Award-winning conductor now in his tenth season as music director of the Nashville Symphony. Guerrero is also music director of the Wrocław Philharmonic at the National Forum of Music in Poland and principal guest conductor of the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon, Portugal. Guerrero is widely praised for his instinctive musicianship and for bringing to the podium “not only vitality and insight but also an appealing physical dynamism” (The Plain Dealer).
Principal Clarinet, Phoenix Symphony
An accomplished instrumental artist, Alex Laing began playing the clarinet at age 11 in his hometown of Silver Spring, Maryland. In 2002 he joined The Phoenix Symphony as principal clarinet.
Laing's work represents a modern take on orchestral practice. Active in his community as a performing and teaching artist, he is committed to exploring how an orchestral musician—and an orchestra—navigates the push and pull between a legacy art form and its unfixed future.
Composer & CONDUCTOR; Founding artistic director, composers now
Tania León is a highly regarded composer and conductor recognized for her accomplishments as an educator and advisor to arts organizations. She has been the subject of profiles on ABC, CBS, CNN, PBS, Univision, and Telemundo, and in independent films.
Her honors include the 2018 US Artist Fellowship, the New York Governor’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Eileen Southern Distinguished Visitor, Harvard University as well as doctorate degrees from Colgate University, Oberlin, and SUNY Purchase.
Composer; Asher Edelman Professor of Music, Bard College; 2019 Gold Baton Recipient
Joan Tower is widely regarded as one of the most important American composers living today. During a career spanning more than fifty years, she has made lasting contributions to musical life in the United States as composer, performer, conductor, and educator. Her works have been commissioned by major ensembles, soloists, and orchestras, including the Emerson, Tokyo, and Muir quartets; soloists Evelyn Glennie, Carol Wincenc, David Shifrin, Paul Neubauer, and John Browning; and the orchestras of Chicago, New York, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Nashville, Albany NY, and Washington DC among others. Tower was the first composer chosen for a Ford Made in America consortium commission of 65 orchestras. Leonard Slatkin and the Nashville Symphony recorded Made in America in 2008 (along with Tambor and Concerto for Orchestra).
President and Managing Partner, The Paragon Group
Speaking at Executive Director Group 2 Constituency Meetings
Horst Abraham is a member of the Executive Education faculty at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. He is the president and managing partner of the Paragon Group, an international consulting group dedicated to creating high performance in individuals, groups, and organizations.
Abraham holds a double Masters degree in Education and Learning and Performance Theory from the University of Vienna, Austria and Cologne, Germany. He earned his Business degree from the Colorado Business School in Denver, Colorado. He is a nationally certified mountain guide, ski instructor, and ski coach in Austria, France, and the USA.
Abraham has published two books: Women in Sports and Skiing Right, published by Harper & Rowe. He coached the U.S. Ski Team from 1980-1984, helping the team reach international success. In addition, he is an invited member of the Ministry of Education of Japan to help re-invent the education system in public schools. His reputation is that of a tough and results-oriented coach, teacher, and change agent
Music Director, Louisville Orchestra
Speaking at Community Identity in Programming
An unusually versatile musician, Teddy Abrams is the widely-acclaimed Music Director of the Louisville Orchestra and Music Director and Conductor of the Britt Festival Orchestra. A tireless advocate for the power of music, Abrams has fostered interdisciplinary collaborations with organizations including the Louisville Ballet, the Center for Interfaith Relations, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Speed Art Museum, and the Folger Shakespeare Library. His rap-opera, The Greatest: Muhammad Ali, premiered in 2017, celebrating Louisville’s hometown hero with an all-star cast that included Rhiannon Giddens and Jubilant Sykes.
Teddy debuted with the National Symphony Orchestra in the 2018-19 season in a program built around a commission by Lera Auerbach, and he appeared with the Utah, Wichita, Eugene, and Elgin Symphonies. He celebrated Leonard Bernstein’s centenary with an all-Bernstein program at the Kennedy Center on what would have been his 100th birthday. Recent guest conducting highlights include engagements with the Los Angeles Philharmonic; the San Francisco, Houston, Milwaukee, Vancouver, Colorado, and Phoenix Symphonies; Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra; and the Florida Orchestra.
An accomplished pianist and clarinetist, Abrams has appeared as a soloist with a number of orchestras and has performed chamber music with the St. Petersburg String Quartet, Menahem Pressler, Gilbert Kalish, Time for Three, and John Adams. Dedicated to exploring new and engaging ways to communicate with a diverse range of audiences, Abrams co-founded the Sixth Floor Trio in 2008. Together, they founded and directed GardenMusic, the music festival of the world-renowned Fairchild Tropical Garden in Miami; they continue to tour regularly throughout the U.S.
Founder, Canarii Solutions
Speaking at The Catalyst Fund Forum
Liz S. Alsina follows two work streams that align with her core values. She is the founder of Canarii Solutions, and is a Senior Program Officer with the Walton Personal Philanthropy Group (WPPG). Ms. Alsina founded Canarii Solutions in 2018 as a means of conducting research, facilitating productive dialogue, and working with select clients that have an authentic commitment to advancing equity in classical music. At WPPG, she supports the philanthropic vision of a portfolio of Walton family members with projects that support dynamic communities through the advancement of the arts, the conservation of greenspace and outdoor resources, and the development of new initiatives to support diversity and inclusion. Prior to WPPG, Ms. Alsina was a Program Associate in the Arts and Cultural Heritage Program at The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation where she managed a portfolio of nearly 100 active grants with a special emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion in music. Before becoming a grantmaker, Ms. Alsina was a fundraiser, serving as director of institutional giving at Roundabout Theatre Company, Florida Grand Opera, and TheatreworksUSA, where she also served as director of development. She received a Bachelor of Music from the Manhattan School of Music where she studied classical voice, and a Masters in Fine Arts from Yale University where she studied arts management; she also completed a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University. Ms. Alsina is also an educator in arts management and philanthropy and was an adjunct lecturer at Wagner College and Marymount Manhattan College.
Ann Meier Baker
Director of Music and Opera, National Endowment for the Arts
Speaking at the Opening Plenary
Ann Meier Baker was appointed the director of music and opera at the National Endowment for the Arts in January 2015. She oversees the NEA’s grantmaking in music and opera, and the NEA Jazz Masters Fellowships, which are our nation's highest honor in jazz. Previously, Baker served as president and CEO of Chorus America, where she led the national membership association of more than 2,000 professional, volunteer, symphonic, and children/youth choruses. Prior to that, she was founding director of the National School Boards Association Foundation, an incubator for new ideas about the challenges facing urban school board leaders and other issues in public education. Baker also worked for the League of American Orchestras and the National Association for Music Education, and began her career as a professional singer with the United States Air Force Singing Sergeants. The author of books on music organization governance, she has garnered several awards, including Chorus America’s induction into the Classical Music Hall of Fame in 2011.
Rafael Baldwin is a single, multi-camera, and VR/360° immersive television director and producer working at the intersection of filmmaking, sound and music production, computer programming, and human interaction.
Baldwin is New World Symphony’s digital media storyteller and professor of VR/360º Immersive storytelling at the University of Miami. As a television producer, he has been responsible for news coverage and special transmissions of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards; the Cannes, Venice, Berlin, San Sebastian, Sundance Europe, and London film festivals; The Royal Wedding in Britain; the Coronation of King Philip VI of Spain; the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games; and the NFL at Wembley. His work has been featured on media outlets such as ESPN, BBC, Variety Latino, Univision Networks, and Televisa Media Group. As a news producer, he has been in charge of interviews with politicians, musicians, celebrities, and athletes such as George Clooney; Sandra Bullock; the Rolling Stones; Scorpions; Michael Phelps; Usain Bolt; Roger Federer; former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon; and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Lech Walesa, among others.
Baldwin has an MA in Screen Documentary from Goldsmiths, University of London, an MMus in Composition for Screen from the Royal College of Music in London, and an MFA in Interactive Media from the University of Miami.
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Artistic Advisor, Eureka Ensemble
Speaking at Check This Out!
J. Andrés Ballesteros (b. 1991) is the artistic advisor for Eureka Ensemble and teaches at the Boston Arts Academy. Based in Cambridge, MA, Ballesteros is passionate about expanding the diversity of orchestral repertoire and recently served as a panelist at the 2018 League of American Orchestras National Conference in Chicago to speak about his work with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and other organizations.
He received his B.A. in Music from Harvard University, where he studied with composers Chaya Czernowin, Hans Tutschku, Edgar Barroso, and Trevor Bača. He has also studied at the European American Musical Alliance (EAMA) in Paris; at the highSCORE festival in Pavia, Italy; and at the Harvard Summer Composition Institute. Ballesteros has written for a range of professional, amateur, and educational ensembles as well as for a variety of media, including a documentary, several short films, and e-books.
Recent composition projects include a quartet and upcoming orchestral work co-composed with immigrant youth in Chelsea, MA, with the Eureka Ensemble; a choral arrangement celebrating refugees for the Boston Arts Academy; and the score for the documentary “The Time is Already”, directed by Selene Means.
Executive Director, Billings Symphony Orchestra & Chorale
Speaking at Check This Out!
Originally from Spain, Ignacio Barrón Viela was born in Zaragoza, where he studied music and engineering. He holds studies in classical music performance (cello) and has been playing in orchestras and managing music and orchestra projects worldwide. He also holds a Master of Industrial Engineering degree from the University of Zaragoza and in July 2018 completed a Master in Business Administration (MBA) at the University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business, with an emphasis in arts leadership, through the Thornton School of Music.
Barrón Viela has several years of professional experience both in the energy and music sectors. He has worked in Europe, Asia, South America, and the United States for two of the largest private, investor-owned energy companies operating worldwide. As senior management consultant and project manager, he has focused in the area of performance management and operational excellence by executing strategic best practices.
Barrón Viela worked as an orchestra manager and has been involved in managing, planning, designing and coordinating orchestra tours with the Heinrich Heine Orchestra in Dusseldorf, Germany. He raised money for the orchestra and led planning and coordination with Youth International Festivals in Europe. Most recently, he completed the Essentials of Orchestra Management course, which is run by the League of American Orchestras and is regarded as the world’s gold standard of orchestra management training.
Warm, energetic, and engaging, Barrón Viela joined the Billings Symphony Orchestra & Chorale as executive director in December 2018. He enjoys the outdoors, hiking, basketball, socializing with friends, and learning and engaging with others.
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Community Engagement Manager, The Florida Orchestra
Speaking at Engaging the LGBTQ+ Community.
Daryn Bauer joined The Florida Orchestra as community engagement manager in September 2016. During his time at TFO, he has led music curriculum development for youth concerts that reach over 25,000 students and teachers each season. Bauer also created TFO’s first ever Pride Weekend celebration, in which the orchestra collaborated with local LGBTQ+ organizations to actively invite that community to their concert halls.
Bauer received a Bachelor of Music in Bassoon Performance from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, where he also received a certificate in arts leadership. He has held administrative positions with the Grammy-nominated ensemble Ars Lyrica Houston, Young Audiences of Houston, and Writers in the Schools.
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Music Alive Composer-in-Residence, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra
Praised by The San Francisco Chronicle as “hauntingly lovely and deeply personal,” Lembit Beecher’s music combines “alluring” textures (The New York Times) and vividly imaginative colors with striking emotional immediacy. Noted for his collaborative spirit and “ingenious” interdisciplinary projects (The Wall Street Journal), Beecher is currently the composer-in-residence of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, having previously served a three-year term as the inaugural composer-in-residence of Opera Philadelphia. Born to Estonian and American parents, Beecher grew up under the redwoods in Santa Cruz, California, a few miles from the wild Pacific. Since then he has lived in Boston, Houston, Ann Arbor, Berlin, New York, and Philadelphia, earning degrees from Harvard, Rice University, and the University of Michigan. This varied background has made him particularly sensitive to place, ecology, memory, and the multitude of ways in which people tell stories. Recent premieres include “Say Home” for the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, “The Conference of the Birds” for A Far Cry, “100 Years Grows Shorter Over Time” for the Juilliard String Quartet, and “Sky on Swings,” a chamber opera for Opera Philadelphia starring Frederica von Stade and Marietta Simpson. “[Beecher] and librettist Hannah Moscovitch have created a shattering musical and theatrical evocation of what it feels like to have Alzheimer’s disease,” wrote Heidi Waleson in the The Wall Street Journal. Many of Beecher's latest projects involve the incorporation of untraditional elements into opera, symphonic works and chamber music, including baroque instruments, sampled interviews, animation, and electronically-controlled sound sculptures.
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Education & Community Engagement Program Manager, Nashville Symphony
Kelley Bell received her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature at Centre College, where she also began pursuing a career in nonprofit performing arts. Her background spans a broad spectrum of organizations, including the Danville Community Arts Center, River North Chicago Dance Company, the Great American Brass Band Festival, and the Norton Center for the Arts. She first joined the Nashville Symphony’s Education and Community Engagement Department in 2011. Bell spearheaded the Nashville Symphony’s sensory friendly concerts and the overall expansion of accessibility supports. She has been trained by Vanderbilt Kennedy Center’s Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (TRIAD) to lead staff and volunteer training sessions, and she is the Nashville Symphony’s representative in the Inclusion Network of Nashville, a network created and led by TRIAD to connect, support, and educate local nonprofit organizations in accessibility programming and inclusion.
Executive Director, California Symphony
Aubrey Bergauer defies trends, and then makes her own. In a time when many arts organizations are finding it more and more difficult to meet rising ticket, subscription, and fundraising goals, Bergauer has dramatically increased earned and contributed revenue at organizations of all sizes. Her focus on not just engaging—but retaining—new audiences grew Seattle Opera’s BRAVO! Club (for audience members in their 20's and 30's) to the largest group of its kind nationwide, led the Bumbershoot Festival to achieve an unprecedented 43% increase in revenue, and propelled the California Symphony to nearly double the size of its audience and quadruple the donor base.
A graduate of Rice University with degrees in Music Performance and Business, Bergauer is praised for her leadership which “points the way to a new style of audience outreach,” (Wall Street Journal) and which drove the California Symphony to become “the most forward-looking music organization around” (Mercury News). Combined with instilling and achieving common goals across what are usually siloed marketing, development, and artistic departments, Bergauer’s ability to strategically and holistically examine and advance every facet of the organization is creating a transformational change in the audience, in the office, on the stage, in the community, and is changing the narrative for the classical music industry.
Senior Analyst, Capacity Interactive
Jess Bergson specializes in website analytics at Capacity Interactive, working with leading arts institutions including The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, The Public Theater, Houston Grand Opera, San Francisco Symphony, and the Straz Center. Before joining CI, Bergson worked with the New York Musical Festival and Joey Parnes Productions. She earned a Master of Arts Management degree from Carnegie Mellon University’s H. John Heinz III College and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Carnegie Mellon’s School of Drama. In her free time, Bergson loves to cook and bake healthy food, exercise, and fantasize about getting a dog.
Speaking at New Voices: Composers of Today.
Daniel Bernard Roumain's acclaimed work as a composer and a violinist has spanned more than two decades, and has been commissioned by venerable artists and institutions worldwide. Proving that he’s “about as omnivorous as a contemporary artist gets” (New York Times), DBR is perhaps the only composer whose collaborations span the worlds of Philip Glass, Bill T. Jones, Savion Glover, and Lady Gaga
Jane Best, Ph.D.
Director, Arts Education Partnership
Speaking at Walking the Walk: Why Music Education Matters.
Dr. Jane Best is the director of the Arts Education Partnership at Education Commission of the States in Denver, CO. She has extensive experience working among practitioners, policymakers, and researchers. She previously held leadership positions at McREL International, Learning Point Associates (now American Institutes for Research), and the National Conference of State Legislatures. She started her career in education as a high school French and ESL teacher in Columbus, Ohio. Best chairs the Windgate Advisory Board at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and has served on the board of directors of Knowledge Alliance and the STEM Education Coalition, trade associations that advocate for federal funding for education research and development. Best also served on the board of governors for the College of Education at The Ohio State University. She holds a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University.
Senior Lecturer, Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University
Emelyne Bingham has lead concerts of the Nashville Symphony as its assistant conductor and the Columbus Women’s Orchestra as its music director, as well as performances of the Toledo Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Nashville Opera, Nashville Ballet, and Ars Nova Huntsville. Recently, she has conducted recordings with the New York City Ballet Orchestra and members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and New York Philharmonic. She has served as the artistic director for the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences outreach project in partnership with the Leonard Bernstein Center and the Nashville Symphony. Currently she serves as the artistic director of the Young Texas Artists Music Competition and teaches at the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University. In 2011, she was named a research member at the esteemed Vanderbilt Kennedy Center where she assists with research on music and autism. Her numerous performances in the recording, broadcast, and movie studio with colleagues ranging from Larry Gatlin to Sandi Patti to Amy Grant, have been broadcast on A&E, MTV, CMT, Public Television, the NAXOS American Classics Series, and National Public Radio. She is an active member of Pi Kappa Lambda and the Recording Academy.
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Director of Education & Community Engagement, Nashville Symphony
Musician and writer Walter Bitner is the director of education and community engagement at the Nashville Symphony. He has led a multi-faceted career as a teacher and performer: a performing musician since childhood, Bitner is a multi-instrumentalist and singer, teacher, arranger/composer, and conductor. He has performed and studied a wide variety of music from nearly all periods of the Western art music tradition on piano, harpsichord, lute, recorder, and as a singer.
His teaching career (1991-2014) spans public and private schools in New York, Florida, and Nashville—from kindergarten through 12th grade—and included a broad array of music education formats including general music, choir, strings, piano, and music theory. He taught at alternative and progressive schools, traditional college preparatory schools, and a public arts magnet high school. He is Conductor Emeritus of Music City Youth Orchestra, which he founded and directed from 2007 – 2012.
Bitner holds a B.A. from Charter Oak State College, Connecticut, and he completed his teacher certification training in both vocal and instrumental music at Belmont University in Nashville. He has collaborated or performed with a wide variety of artists over the last three decades including Pete Seeger, Tracy Silverman, Jeff Coffin, The Chieftains, Music City Baroque, the Nashville Symphony, the Nashville Symphony Chorus, and the Nashville Concerto Orchestra. He writes about music and education on his website, Off The Podium.
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President-Elect, Conductors Guild, Inc.
Christopher Blair is a partner at AKUSTIKS, based in Norwalk, CT, where he specializes in the acoustic design of concert halls, opera houses, and theaters. Current or recently completed projects include the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, home of the Nashville Symphony; the Juliet Rosch Recital Hall for SUNY-Fredonia; new additions to the Cleveland Institute of Music; renovations to the Boston Opera House; renovations and additions at the Eastman School of Music; and other major projects in the USA, Mexico, Canada, Thailand, Columbia, Chile, and Brazil. Some of his important projects prior to his work at AKUSTIKS include Singapore’s Esplanade Performing Arts Centre; Lucerne’s Cultural and Congress Centre; the City of Culture in Galicia, Spain; and Brazil’s famous Sala Sāo Paulo.
Following undergraduate studies at the University of Vermont, Blair earned Master’s degrees in Orchestral Conducting from the New England Conservatory and in Acoustics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Early professional conducting appointments included the music directorships of the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra of Boston, the South End Symphony and Choral Society, the Melrose (MA) Symphony Orchestra, the Brown University Orchestra (where he was also chairman of the string program), and the position of artistic director of the Boston Light Opera.
In recent years, Blair has appeared in concert with the Bolivian National Orchestra, the Porto Alegre (Brazil) Symphony Orchestra, the San Diego Symphony Orchestra, the Nashville Symphony, the Tianjin (China) Symphony Orchestra, the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, the El Paso Symphony Orchestra, the Vidin (Bulgaria) Philharmonic, and the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra. In the course of his acoustical consulting activities, he has also led rehearsals of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic and Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.
Mayor of Nashville
Speaking at the Opening Plenary
David Briley is the eighth mayor of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County. He was sworn in as Mayor on March 6, 2018 and elected as Mayor on May 24, 2018. Briley had served as vice mayor since September 2015. He is a native Nashvillian and the grandson of Beverly Briley, the first mayor of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County.
COO, Nashville Symphony
Steven Brosvik is the chief operating officer of the Nashville Symphony, collaborating with the orchestra, artistic, concert operations and production, education and community engagement, fundraising, marketing, and communications teams. One of his primary external tasks is developing artistic and community partnerships with other Nashville organizations. Prior to arriving in Nashville in April 2015, Brosvik was the general manager of the Houston Symphony responsible for all concert planning and operations, education and community engagement, and touring and was the liaison to the City of Houston. Prior to his work in Houston, he was the executive director of the San Antonio Symphony, vice president and general manager of the Baltimore Symphony, and an alumnus of the League of American Orchestras Management Fellowship Program. Before working with orchestras, he spent ten years with Northwest and KLM Royal Dutch airlines, starting in customer service and finally managing the team tasked with rerouting passengers due to operational disruptions. Brosvik graduated from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota with a degree in Music Business, and studied piano performance and Dalcroze pedagogy in New York with Dr. Robert Abramson.
Lisa Brown Alexander
Founding President & CEO, Nonprofit HR
Speaking at Creating a Culture of Respect in the Era of #MeToo.
Lisa Brown Alexander is the president and CEO of Nonprofit HR. Under her direction, Nonprofit HR has served some of the most prominent organizations in the country, including Goodwill Industries International, The American Society of Hematology, and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
With more than two decades of human resource management experience working with nonprofits and for-profit organizations, Brown Alexander and her firm have proven that better HR can play an integral role in nonprofit success.
Brown Alexander is a Washington Business Journal’s Minority Business Leader Award honoree, as well as a 2012 SmartCEO Magazine Brava! award recipient. And in March 2016, she was named to the list Power50 Women awarded by Walker’s Legacy. Brown Alexander currently serves on the board of directors of the DC Chamber of Commerce, Community Youth Advance (formerly Mentoring to Manhood) and the Prince Georges Cultural Arts Foundation. She is also an advisory board member with the Talent Philanthropy Project.
Alan Brown, principal of WolfBrown, is a leading researcher and management consultant in the arts and culture sector worldwide. His work focuses on understanding consumer demand for cultural experiences and on helping cultural institutions, foundations, and agencies to see new opportunities, make informed decisions, and respond to changing conditions. His studies have introduced new vocabulary to the lexicon of cultural participation and propelled the field towards a clearer view of the rapidly changing cultural landscape. He speaks frequently at national and international conferences about audience behaviors, trends in cultural participation, and the value system surrounding arts experiences.
Host, Performance Today
Speaking at League Annual Meeting & Luncheon
Fred Child is the host of APM's Performance Today, the most-listened-to classical music radio show in America. Child is also the commentator and announcer for Live from Lincoln Center, the only live performing arts series on television. And he's co-host of Carnegie Hall Live, an annual series of a dozen live national radio broadcasts from America's premier musical venue. Child also appears at classical music festivals and events around the country, from PT's annual residency at the Aspen Music Festival and School, to special events at the Savannah Music festival, Marlboro Music, the Spoleto Festival USA, Summerfest La Jolla, and many more.
Beyond the world of classical music, Child hosted NPR's innovative "Creators@Carnegie," a program of wide-ranging performers in concert, including Brian Wilson, David Byrne, Dawn Upshaw, Youssou N'Dour, Caetano Veloso, Emmylou Harris, and others. Before going to NPR, Child was music director and director of cultural programming at WNYC in New York, host of a live daily performance and interview program on WNYC, and for ten years, a host at Oregon Public Broadcasting. For several years, Fred's pre-concert talks were a popular feature for the Washington Performing Arts Society, in Washington D.C., and for the Baltimore Symphony. He has given concert talks for Lincoln Center, the Aspen Festival, Summerfest La Jolla. and many other venues across the country.
In recent years, Child has hosted a series of unique live national concert broadcasts, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic from Walt Disney Hall, the Last Night of the Proms from the Royal Albert Hall in London, New Year's concerts by the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony at their summer home of Tanglewood, the ground-breaking "Spring for Music" concerts from Carnegie Hall, and the "Americana" series for the BBC National Orchestra of Wales from Hoddinott Hall in Cardiff. Child's music reviews have appeared on NPR's All Things Considered, and his music reports have appeared on NPR's Morning Edition and Weekend Edition. He's been a contributor to Billboard magazine, and a concert host and commentator for BBC Radio 3.
Senior Development Advisor, Cleveland Institute of Music
Dan Coleman is a performing arts fundraiser and senior leader currently serving as a senior development advisor for the Cleveland Institute of Music. Recently he served as CIM’s director of development, turning around the fundraising program and starting the second-century campaign. During his tenure, CIM has raised the highest annual funds in the school’s 98-year history. Prior to joining CIM, Coleman served in various fundraising and leadership roles at orchestras. At the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, he revitalized the planned giving program, energized the continued growth of the Governing Members to nearly 500 households, and led a successful $1M+ 2017 Heroes Gala signature fundraising event. At The Cleveland Orchestra, he grew the foundation and government fundraising to record levels and secured the largest Ohio Arts Council and Cuyahoga Arts & Culture multi-year operational grants. During his tenure with the Ashland Symphony Orchestra, he served as the executive leader securing multi-year major gifts and establishing a modern customer relationship management system combining ticket sales and donor relations, a first in the orchestra’s history. Coleman holds a Bachelor of Music in Performance from Capital University and a Master of Music in Orchestral Performance from Indiana University. He was a professional trumpet performer and teacher throughout Northeast Ohio, and has performed with the Ashland and Mansfield Symphony Orchestras. Additionally, he has served on the League of American Orchestra’s Diversity Task Force, as guest faculty for the League's Essentials of Orchestra Management, and has presented at the League's annual Conference.
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Conductor, Artistic Director, Intersection
Kelly Corcoran’s passion for explorative music started during her time in Boston performing Pierrot Lunaire as a young singer 20 years ago. Since then, Corcoran has always been drawn towards music that stretches the listener and explores the full spectrum of sound and expression. While at Indiana University, Corcoran regularly collaborated with composers and was a founder of The Polaris Project where she conducted Berg’s Chamber Concerto. One of the highlights of her seven-year tenure as associate conductor for the Nashville Symphony was conducting the orchestra in Corigliano’s Pied Piper Fantasy. Corcoran is dedicated to contemporary music and attended the Lucerne Festival's master class in conducting, focusing on contemporary orchestral literature with Pierre Boulez.
Named “Best Classical Conductor” in 2015 by the Nashville Scene, Corcoran is a passionate advocate for the robust place of classical music in our lives and the lives of future generations. Corcoran is artistic director of Intersection, a contemporary music ensemble dedicated to challenging the traditional concert experience with concerts for all ages. Corcoran conducted the Nashville Symphony for nine seasons, both as associate conductor and director of the Symphony Chorus, where she conducted the orchestra in hundreds of performances and was the primary conductor for the education and community engagement concerts. Corcoran founded the Nashville Philharmonic Orchestra thirteen years ago and continues to serve on the board.
Corcoran has appeared as a guest conductor with many major orchestras including The Cleveland Orchestra and the Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, Milwaukee, and National symphonies, often with return engagements. Abroad, Corcoran has appeared with orchestras in Argentina, England, Spain, Mexico, and Chile. Corcoran has worked with a range of artists and styles such as Chris Botti, Bela Fleck, and Amy Grant, film scores in concert, and as a regular conductor with The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses tour.
Corcoran attended The Boston Conservatory and Indiana University. Her primary mentors are Leonard Slatkin and Marin Alsop. Corcoran cares deeply about equity, our youth, and the future of classical music and participated in REAL (Racial Equity in Arts Leadership) and Project Music and Leadership Music. She is an advisor for Music Makes Us, Nashville's music education initiative in metro schools.
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Executive Director, San Antonio Symphony
A native of Houston, TX, Mr. Cowart holds a Bachelor of Music from University of Houston and a Master of Music from Yale University. Since January 2019, Mr. Cowart has served as the Executive Director for the San Antonio Symphony.
He began his career at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, where he served in four different development positions over six years. He served as Vice President of Development with Minnesota Opera and from 2015 through December 2018 as Executive Director of the Amarillo Symphony.
During his tenure with the Amarillo Symphony, Cowart and the Amarillo Symphony Board embarked on a new strategic plan to recapitalize the organization through expanding audience and donor bases. As a result of that plan, the Amarillo Symphony saw annual contributed income increase over 60%, earned revenue grow by 40%, and annual paid attendance increase by 35%.
Liane Curtis, Ph.D.
President, Women's Philharmonic Advocacy
Speaking at Check This Out!
Dr. Liane Curtis founded Women's Philharmonic Advocacy in 2008 to continue the pioneering legacy of The Women's Philharmonic (1981-2004) by encouraging orchestras to program works by women. Since then the organization has offered grants, served as a resource of information, and helped musicians to connect with performing materials that are often difficult to find. Her Ph.D. in musicology helps her in uncovering the buried and neglected works of historic women, and she has written extensively on Rebecca Clarke and Amy Beach. Since 2017, WPA has also begun publishing a range of orchestral works by historical women.
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Conductor, The Queer Urban Orchestra
Speaking at Engaging the LGBTQ+ Community.
Julie Desbordes conducts professional and community orchestras in North and South America, her native France, and Asia. Her recent international appearances as guest conductor include concerts in Venezuela, Cuba, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and Malaysia. Her repertoire stands from master works to premieres of contemporary pieces.
Currently living in both New York City and Baltimore, she is the artistic director of two orchestras in New York City: the Turtle Bay Youth Orchestra and the Queer Urban Orchestra.
Desbordes harbors a passion for education and outreach. She is a leader in the El Sistema movement, being invited to conduct many El Sistema-inspired youth orchestras internationally, having been runner-up for the directorship of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s El Sistema-inspired Youth Orchestra program (YOLA), and being a featured guest at El Sistema programs nationwide, as well as being featured in a powerful documentary about El Sistema-inspired programs in the US: “Crescendo! The Power of Music” (available on Netflix), by Jamie Bernstein (daughter of Leonard Bernstein).
Desbordes made her conducting debut in France with l’Harmonie Municipale de Limoges at age 17. Since then she worked internationally, including debuting on the Asian professional scene in 2016 with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra in Kuala Lumpur. Equally committed to developing new audiences for classical music, she presents numerous innovative programs each season; for example “We are One” this past season with QUO, when regular concerts were paired with outreach performances in which the audience and musicians sat together as one unit to co-create their experience.
Desbordes holds multiple degrees in both conducting and trumpet from three different music conservatoires: Limoges, Bordeaux, and Montreal. Her conducting teachers have included Raffi Armenian and Gustav Meier. She will complete her Doctorate in Orchestral Conducting at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, where she studies with Marin Alsop.
Associate Vice-President, Artistic Administration, Toronto Symphony Orchestra
Speaking at Artistic Planning
David Dredla is associate vice president, artistic administration, of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra where he helps develop concert programs and long-range artistic plans for the orchestra. He has previously served as artistic administrator for both the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the Phoenix Symphony. Dredla holds an MBA from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, as well as undergraduate degrees in music from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and in biology from the University of Rochester. Originally from Bozeman, Montana, Dredla began playing trumpet in the fourth grade. He credits his career in music to inspiring teachers and a public school system supportive of arts education.
Violinist, Chicago Sinfonietta
Performing at League Annual Meeting & Luncheon
Caitlin Edwards began studying the violin at the age of eight, through the Music Opportunity Program, a nonprofit organization in Birmingham, Alabama. Edwards attended the University of Louisville where she studied with J. Patrick Rafferty. In 2016, Edwards won a Project Inclusion Fellowship with the Grant Park Music Festival and also won the Concerto Competition at the University of Louisville School of Music. In 2018, she performed with the Ritz Chamber Players as they received the Aspire Award from the Atlanta Symphony Talent Development Program. She also has had the pleasure of performing as a soloist with the Chicago Solisti. In 2018, Edwards was awarded the Rising Star award from the Gateways Music Festival. As a freelance musician, she performs regularly with the DComposed String Quartet and the Matt Jones Orchestra. She also teaches with the Chicago Arts and Music Project, an El-Sistema inspired program. Edwards will be graduating with her Masters in June from DePaul University where she studies with Janet Sung.
Aiden Kim Feltkamp
Emerging Composers and Diversity Director, American Composers Orchestra
Speaking on a Composers Constituency Meeting
Aiden Kim Feltkamp (they/he) began his musical life at the age of five, playing a quarter-size cello, and now he champions new classical music and opera as a trans nonbinary librettist, performer, and educator. He’s currently the emerging composers and diversity director with American Composers Orchestra. Feltkamp is passionate about diversity and inclusion, and that mission pervades every aspect of his career. He writes to explore the crevices and the intersections: the shadowy stories previously unexcavated due to the oppression of their narrators. In life and in fiction, he’s drawn to main characters who live on the margins and open our capacity for empathy by telling stories through a yet-unencountered lens. Feltkamp’s work spans from live performance reviews and interviews with classical music industry leaders to supplemental program material and editorials to poetry and libretti. As an educator and diversity expert, he frequently consults for performing arts groups, universities, and businesses on matters of inclusion. His past collaborators include Opera America, Northwestern University, Yelp, and Fresh Ink Festival. He has served as a panelist on diversity, inclusion, and gender representation in classical music hosted by various organizations, including the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, New Music Gathering, and the New York Opera Alliance. He received his M.M. from the Bard College Conservatory of Music in Dawn Upshaw’s Graduate Vocal Arts Program and his B.S. from Hofstra University. More than anything, Feltkamp hopes for a more equitable, more vibrant, and more compassionate future.
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Dean Emeritus, Roosevelt University Chicago College of Performing Arts
For folks in the orchestral music field, Henry Fogel needs no introduction. His long and storied career as past inventor of the radiothon fund-raising concept in Syracuse, as executive director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and National Symphony Orchestra, orchestra manager of the New York Philharmonic, president of the League of American Orchestras, classical music radio station WONO owner and on-air celebrity, the voice of WFMT’s Collector’s Corner classical music radio show, negotiator during orchestra/manager labor disputes for numerous symphony orchestras, Dean Emeritus of Roosevelt University Chicago College of Performing Arts, and in other past and current positions, offers Fogel insight into the music world like few others.
Executive Director, Knoxville Symphony
Rachel Ford has served as executive director of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra since 2007. Previously she served as executive director for the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra in Iowa, as public relations coordinator for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and in the marketing department at the University Musical Society in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Ford is a graduate of the League of American Orchestras’ Orchestra Management Fellowship Program, having worked with the Kalamazoo, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Fort Worth, and Syracuse symphonies. She also holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from the University of Michigan.
Ford serves on the boards of the Rotary Club of Knoxville, the Arts & Culture Alliance of Greater Knoxville, and the Joy of Music School. She is a member of the Executive Women’s Association, a graduate of Leadership Knoxville, and a 2013 recipient of a YWCA Tribute to Women award.
President and CEO, Pacific Symphony
John E. Forsyte has led Pacific Symphony since 1998, and it is now the largest orchestral institution formed in the U.S. in the last 50 years. Growing in national and international stature, Pacific Symphony made its debut at Carnegie Hall in April, 2018 as one of two orchestras invited to perform for a year-long celebration of composer Philip Glass' 80th birthday. In May 2018, it made its first tour of China, visiting five major cities. In June, the Symphony completed this extraordinary season with its first national televised program on Great Performances.
Over the course Forsyte’s tenure, the Symphony launched community programs such as arts-X-press (middle school arts immersion camp), Heartstrings (a partnership with 22 non-profit social service, health and cultural organizations), Strings for Generations at the Irvine Chinese School, Santa Ana Strings, and he has expanded its school partnership program from 7 to 32 schools.
Awarded a New California Arts Fund grant over a six-year period by the James Irvine Foundation, Pacific Symphony has undertaken an extensive set of initiatives to engage Asian communities of the region.
A hallmark of Forsyte's tenure are the uninterrupted string of balanced budgets. During this same period, the Pacific Symphony’s has enjoyed a five-fold increase in contributed income and added an additional $21 million contributed to its endowment.
In 1995 the American Symphony Orchestra League recognized Forsyte with the Helen M. Thompson Award. In 2016, John received Arts Orange County’s Helena Modjeska Cultural Legacy Award.
Marketing and Engagement Manager, Chicago Sinfonietta
Speaking at Engaging the LGBTQ+ Community
Miguel A. García is an artist, administrator, and social activist interested in creating and supporting equitable spaces through bold artistic experiences. Currently, Marketing and Engagement Manager at Chicago Sinfonietta, Garcia is the curator for BRIDGE – an active concert participation initiative established to break social, racial, and economic barriers within the symphonic experience to bridge audience members with the surrounding community.
Prior to his current role, Garcia has facilitated and managed arts programs and special events for various cultural institutions throughout Chicago including the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University and the Chicago Park District. In 2016, Garcia was selected as an Administrative Freeman Fellow as a part of Project Inclusion - Chicago Sinfonietta’s industry-leading fellowship program.
A native of Chicago, IL, Garcia was encouraged to explore a life in music by the Midwest’s finest music educators and renowned artists alike in programs including CPS All-City Ensembles, Merit School of Music, and Interlochen Center for the Arts. Inspired by his mentors, Garcia went on to pursue dual bachelor’s degrees in Music Education and Trombone Performance at The Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. Beyond his passion for music, Garcia is currently coproducer of DURO – Chicago’s premiere LGBTQ+ nightlife collective dedicated to celebrating the Latinx community and all people of color, body types and gender expressions.
Delta David Gier
Music Director, South Dakota Symphony Orchestra
Speaking at a Composers Constituency Meeting
Delta David Gier has been called a dynamic voice on the American music scene, recognized widely for his penetrating interpretations of the standard symphonic repertoire, passionate commitment to new music, and significant community engagement. Orchestras Gier has conducted include the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony, and the Minnesota Orchestra. He has conducted the American Composers Orchestra in the inaugural concert of the China-U.S Composers Project as well as other orchestras in Asia, Europe, and South America.
Since 2004, Gier has been music director of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra. During that period, the orchestra has been lauded for its programming. His series based on the Pulitzer Prize was called “an unprecedented programming innovation” by the Wall Street Journal and has included residencies with composers Jennifer Higdon, Steven Stucky, Zhou Long, and Paul Moravec.The Lakota Music Project was developed under Gier’s direction. Now in its sixth year, the LMP is a side-by-side program with the SDSO and Lakota musicians which explores the role music plays in their respective cultures, seeking to engender understanding and healing.
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Chief Executive Officer, San Diego Symphony Orchestra
Speaking at Artistic Planning.
Martha A. Gilmer is the chief executive officer of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra. Since joining the San Diego Symphony in 2014, she has initiated an annual city-wide January arts festival, engaged leading guest artists for their San Diego premieres, commissioned new works, and presented several West Coast premieres. Additionally, Gilmer has led a successful rebranding of the summer series Bayside Summer Nights, the inauguration of the Jazz @ the Jacobs series, the creation of a strategic plan for the organization, and the development of a permanent, highly innovative outdoor space called Bayside Performance Park, which received approval by the Port of San Diego. In 2018, Gilmer appointed the organization’s 13th music director, internationally acclaimed Rafael Payare and in 2019, San Diego announced its first principal guest conductor, Edo de Waart. Prior to joining the San Diego Symphony, Gilmer served as the vice president for artistic planning and audience development for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In that role, she was responsible for working with Music Director Riccardo Muti in program planning, engaging guest conductors and artists, and formulating the orchestra’s artistic profile. Throughout her career, she has developed longstanding relationships with some of the world’s greatest artists. In addition to program creation and development, Gilmer was instrumental in the creation of new innovative programs to connect new audiences to classical music, including ClassicEncounter and Beyond the Score. A graduate of the Northwestern University School of Music, Gilmer has been active as an alumna, and was awarded the Northwestern University School of Music Alumni Merit Award.
Director of Business Development, Capacity Interactive
Shira Green joined the Capacity Interactive team after working in development at UJA-Federation of New York and then completing an MA in Arts Administration at Columbia University, during which time she held internships at The Whitney Museum of American Art and The Public Theater. Before stepping into business development, Green led a consulting team at Capacity Interactive. She worked with a wide ranging array of clients, including The Kennedy Center and the National Symphony Orchestra, Jacob's Pillow Dance, The Walker Art Center, and Carolina Performing Arts. Outside the office Green can be found wandering around museums, reading a novel, at a yoga class, or on a spin bike.
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Violin, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
2019 Ford Musician Awardee
Speaking at Musicians Transforming Communities
Victoria Griswold joined the violin section of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in April 1993. Born in Huntington, New York, she grew up listening to her father play string quartets. She attended the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and holds a Bachelor of Music degree. She was a member of The Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra in addition to being an extra player for the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Since 2015, Victoria has written the programs for the ISO’s Teddy Bear Series which provides thousands of young children access to free music programs at local libraries, hospitals, and preschools. Two of her Teddy Bear programs have been turned into children’s books through the Macy’s Gives program. Victoria has received The Alice Akins Award for Excellence in Music Education and she is a 2017 Creative Renewal Fellowship Grant recipient.
Director of Education & Community Engagement, Richmond Symphony
Speaking at Musicians Transforming Communities
Aimee Halbruner is Director of Education & Community Engagement for the Richmond Symphony (VA) where she oversees the orchestra’s educational, family and community programming, including its Big Tent Festivals, the six ensembles of the Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra Program, summer camps programs, and partnerships with the City’s universities and the region’s public school systems. She also serves as Project Director for the Menuhin International Violin Competition Richmond 2020, being hosted by the Symphony in May next year. A passionate advocate for accessibility and diversity in arts education, Aimee is responsible for the design and implementation of many of the Symphony’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, including leadership and talent development initiatives for young musicians, Come & Play with the Richmond Symphony (now in its 12th year), the Symphony’s Community Council, and its sensory friendly programming.
A classically trained pianist, Aimee has spent 25 years in the teaching field as both a classroom teacher and private instructor. Before joining the Richmond Symphony, Aimee was Director of Programs for Community School of the Arts in Charlotte, NC, where her responsibilities included program development, assessment, curriculum planning and supervision of over 40 performing and visual arts faculty. Currently, Aimee is serving on the Education & Community Engagement Leadership Committee for the League of American Orchestras.
Executive Director, Binghamton Philharmonic
Brittany Hall is proud to begin her fifth season as executive director of the Binghamton Philharmonic (BPO), Broome County’s only professional symphony orchestra and among the Southern Tier of New York’s longest established and most recognized arts institutions.
Hall joined the BPO in May of 2013 as their development director, where she worked to cultivate relations with patrons and major donors, boost sponsorships and fundraising, and partner with corporations to implement matching gift programs. Previously, she managed the patron services and community engagement programs for the Erie Philharmonic.
In February of 2015, Hall became the BPO’s new executive director, quickly establishing bold new programming and structural initiatives that addressed the region’s dynamic population and evolving tastes, as well as downtown Binghamton’s continued revitalization efforts. Since her appointment, the BPO has shifted toward more diverse and contemporary content, an inclusive community-driven focus, and increased collaboration with other arts organizations. The results have been a steady uptick in admissions and contributions, an expanding audience of all ages and backgrounds, and a critical rebranding of the BPO as a fresh and vital cultural leader in the Southern Tier.
In 2017, Hall was an honored recipient of the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce Young Professional of the Year. In September 2017, she was recognized nationally as a League of American Orchestras’ Emerging Leader as she demonstrated the ability to make a significant difference to the field in the years ahead. Hall holds a Master of Science in Arts Management from Drexel University.
Principal Percussion, Education/Outreach Program Director, Chicago Sinfonietta
2019 Ford Musician Awardee
Speaking at Musicians Transforming Communities
Jeff is a highly sought-after percussionist in Chicago. He is Principal Percussionist and Education/Outreach Program Director with Chicago Sinfonietta and Fulcrum Point New Music Project. Through Sinfonietta, Fulcrum Point, and Ravinia, Jeff manages eight different educational school programs in CPS, Aurora, and Dupage County. Other ensembles Jeff performs with are: Ravinia Festival Orchestra, Lyric Opera, Grant Park Symphony, and Tower Brass. Jeff was recently heard with Andrea Bocelli, Johnny Mathis, Placido Domingo, Pete Townsend, Final Fantasy, Mannheim Steamroller, and productions of “Beautiful”, “Parade”, “Aladdin”, and currently performing “Cabaret” at the Paramount Theater. An active clinician and educator, Jeff received his Masters of Music Performance degree from DePaul University.
Chief Development Officer, The Cleveland Orchestra
Jane Hargraft joined The Cleveland Orchestra as chief development officer in April 2019, and leads a team of 21 staff with an annual fundraising goal of $25M. Prior to joining The Cleveland Orchestra, Hargraft was the vice president of development of the Seattle Symphony, a position she held for eight years. During her tenure there, the annual fund increased overall by 32% and she was the lead fundraiser for their major campaign, Forever and For Everyone, which funded the symphony’s Grammy-winning record label and renovated their education space with cutting edge technology to support niche programming and raised $85M. Cumulative giving at the Seattle Symphony during her tenure was $152M.
Hargraft was the general manager of Opera Atelier from 2007-2011. OA is a period production company in Toronto specializing in baroque opera and ballet. Under her management, Opera Atelier set several company records, including increasing fundraising by 30% in her first year and maintaining it through the 2008 recession, doubling subscriptions, securing the largest in gift in the company’s history, and generating surpluses in three out of four years.
Hargraft was the director of development for the Canadian Opera Company from 2003-2008. While at the COC, annual contributed revenues doubled from $4.3M in 2003 to almost $9M in 2008.
A graduate of Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Hargraft started her career as a writer and editor with the Ontario Government before becoming a fundraiser in 1997. An avid marathoner and triathlete, she has run more than 25 marathons (including Cleveland and Columbus), three Half Ironman races, and one full Ironman Triathlon. She has completed the Seattle to Portland 200-mile race in one day in under 12 hours and annually participates in Swim Across America, a two-mile open water swim that raises money for cancer research.
Hargraft is married to Elly Winer, who is a winemaker and violist. They have two daughters, Rachel, 26, and Eleanor, 16.
Education & Youth Ensembles Consultant, Association of British Orchestras
Fiona Harvey is a music graduate from the University of Sheffield where she studied piano. After volunteering for the Adelaide Festival Fringe in Australia before and during its three-week festival, she was inspired to find a career in music/arts management. For the past 30 years, she has worked at a strategic and operational level in the orchestral, music, and charity sectors. Harvey's company, Hawthorns Consulting, covers music education policy and research, event and project management, operations and governance, and organizational change and strategic development. She currently holds roles with the Association of British Orchestras (ABO), as education & youth ensembles consultant, and PRS Foundation (the UK’s leading funder of new music and talent development across all music genres), as senior operations manager. For the ABO, Harvey has managed national education projects with several UK orchestral partners, and national conferences and training programs for orchestral staff and musicians alike. She manages the ABO’s professional development leadership program, Find Your Way, and the ABO Sirens fund for the performance of works by historical women composers. She previously worked with the BBC, London Symphony Orchestra, the UK’s Music Education Council, and National Music Council, and Sound and Music (the UK’s national agency for new music). She is a trustee of Awards for Young Musicians and of the National Children’s Orchestras of Great Britain.
Don Hasseltine, Ed.D.
Senior Consultant, Aspen Leadership Group
Speaking at Raising Your Organization’s Largest Gifts.
Don Hasseltine is a senior consultant at the Aspen Leadership Group, where he conducts executive search and consults on organizational development issues with nonprofits from around the country. Before this role, he served as a vice president for advancement for eighteen years. His most recent position was as the vice president for development at Brown University where he helped launch their historic $3B fundraising campaign. He also has served as vice president for advancement at the colleges of Carleton, Dickinson, and Colby-Sawyer. Earlier in his career, he served as director of annual giving at both Georgetown University and the University of Virginia. Hassletine has been a regular presenter at the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) International and CASE DI and DII conferences and a published author on advancement. His teams have won numerous awards for outstanding performance. He recently started a conversation on LinkedIn, called Coach's Corner, where he explores advancement and leadership issues he has come across in his consulting practice.
Hasseltine currently sits on the President’s Advisory Board at New England College and the Parents Fund Committee at the Lincoln School in Providence, RI. He also has served on the board of directors of the YMCA Carlisle, PA and Northfield, MN Soccer Association, and has been a youth soccer and basketball coach.
Hasseltine has a BA from New England College, an MA from the University of Maryland, and a doctorate from the University of Virginia.
President, Classical Movements
Speaking at At Home and Abroad: The Orchestra as Agent of Change.
Born in Bombay, India to a musical family, Neeta Helms studied piano from the age of four, singing in public and in various choirs since age five.Helms holds a B.A. in economics and an M.B.A. from the leading universities in India. Since 1992, she has built up Classical Movements into one of the premier music touring companies of the world—certainly the most diverse—offering services to world-class orchestras and choruses and world-renowned conductors, composers, and soloists, as well as numerous celebrated institutions. Taking on some of the most complicated and pioneering projects, Helms has led trailblazing tours to Cuba, Vietnam, South Africa, and Russia (only a year after the fall of the Soviet Union). Helms has also brought the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra to Washington, D.C. and organized the first-ever YouTube Symphony Orchestras, in both New York and Sydney. Having traveled to over 95 countries, she’s forged relationships with leaders worldwide. Helms speaks English and Hindi fluently, as well as basic German, French, and Spanish. Her greatest passion, outside of work, is spending time with her boys, Remy and Maxim. Apart from family and friends and travel, she loves reading, art, music, politics, puzzles, and her garden.
Director of Digital Communications, New World Symphony
Jessica Hodder strives to make classical music accessible to as many people as possible in her role as director of digital communications at the New World Symphony, where she leads the institution’s digital strategy.
Her holistic, digital-first approach to marketing and communications found a foothold at NWS in 2015 and she has since established an institutional identity where multiplatform storytelling, live broadcasts, and musician-driven online content not only thrive, but provide a forum for interaction with audiences, community partners, music students, and others—both online and in the concert hall.
Under her leadership, NWS has embraced and experimented with nascent digital marketing tools and trends including geofencing, facial recognition, crowdsourced content, immersive video, and virtual reality. In 2017, she collaborated with MIT Media Lab on the development of a mobile app for NWS to capture user-submitted audio and video clips that would later be used in Miami’s first crowdsourced symphony.
Hodder is a Miami native who is passionate about the intersection of arts and technology and holds a dual bachelor’s degree in Visual Journalism and English Literature from the University of Miami. She has dedicated her career to working with nonprofits, previously holding positions with the University of Miami, Everglades Foundation, and Knight Foundation.
Follow her on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.
Executive Director, Choral Arts Link
Margaret Campbelle-Holman’s career, which spans 40+ years as music educator in Ohio, Florida, and Tennessee, includes mentoring, composing, conducting, and consulting. Towards the end of her 29 years in public schools, she founded the MET Singers (1997). Her career evolved, leading to her current status as executive director of Choral Arts Link (2004), a nonprofit devoted to fostering choral legacies for middle Tennessee singers. She is the author of two K–8 music series and two e-books on Tennessee music published by McGraw-Hill Education. Recently called a paradigm shifter, she has led arts access collaborations and creative resource partnerships that have effectively linked singers to Nashville cultural institutions. Through this network building, the MET Singers have performed—as the Celebration Youth Chorus—during Nashville Symphony’s Let Freedom Sing concert since 1998. Additionally: 1996 co-lyricist for the state of Tennessee School Song, premiered by elementary singers during TN’s Bicentennial • 2004 Classical Concert series, Kenneth Schermerhorn, conductor, with 100+ TN Children’s Chorus with Orff Instrumentarium, premiering Proud Music of the Storm, a Nashville Symphony commission by Bruce Saylor. • 2005 premier, Out of Many, One by Michael Slayton with two ensembles, cello, oboe, and Ghanaian drums. • 2015, The Drummer by Dr. Paul Kwami, and 2016, I Hear the Drum by Dr. Cedric Dent. Choral Arts Link commissioned works for Sesquicentennial Celebration of the Civil War, both with Nashville Symphony • 2017, Upon These Shoulders, a new annual cultural-artistic partnership with Kelly Corcoran’s Intersection and Fisk University. • 2018, premier Negro Spiritual My Lord, What a Morning, arranged by Dr. Cedric Dent.
Speaking at Engaging the LGBTQ+ Community.
Leo Hurley has gained recognition with awards, commissions, and performances in musical theater, opera, film, dance, acrobatic, choral, and instrumental mediums spanning the United States and across Europe. Hurley has had the pleasure of writing for Maya Angelou's 80th Birthday Celebration, Grammy Award-winner Pharoah Sanders, The York Theatre, Beyond Words Dance Company, and Sonnet Repertory Theater Company with performances off-Broadway, as well as for Alonzo King's LINES Ballet at the La Biennale Festival in Venice, Italy. His musicals have recently been seen at Feinstein’s/54 Below, New York New Works Theatre Festival, New York Musical Festival, and Abingdon Theatre. The Body Politic, an opera originally commissioned by the Juventas New Music Ensemble, follows a transgender refugee from Afghanistan as he navigates his new life in North Carolina. It drew international headlines when Hurley and collaborator Charles Osborne brought a concert version of the work to the North Carolina State Assembly
In protest of the newly passed HB2 (“The Bathroom Bill”). Hurley is currently enrolled in the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop in New York City. Go Pickles!
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Past President, Women's Symphony League of Tyler
Speaking at Evolving Models for Leveraging Volunteers
Since 1982, Laura Hyde has been a member of Women’s Symphony League of Tyler, Texas. She served on many committees and as president in 1996-1997. Currently she is co-chairing the Sustainer Membership for the League. She is a member of the Classic Group of past presidents, the Gala Society which consists of past ball chairs (WSL’s major fundraiser), and the Keynote Group (those who have been active volunteers for 25 or more years). Hyde is the third recipient of the Zoe Talbert Award (named for the League’s founder) for outstanding volunteer service. Hyde served for eight years on the Volunteer Council of the League of American Orchestras and was president in 2013-2014. She has served as chair of several committees and board placements as well as 2012 Volunteer Council Conference chair.
In 1996 Hyde joined the Texas Association for Symphony Orchestra board. She has served in many capacities with the state board, including as president in 2000-2001. In 2003, she chaired the State Conference in Tyler.
Hyde has also served for many years on the East Texas Symphony Orchestra Board and this year, 2019-2020, is serving as co-chair on the board. In 2018, Hyde was named the Outstanding Volunteer Sustainer for the Junior League of Tyler.
Section Bass, Nashville Symphony
Kevin Jablonski joined the Nashville Symphony as a section double bassist in 2010. He has served as chair of the NSO's Orchestra Committee during the 2014-15 season and was also on the Negotiating Committee for the NSO's most recent negotiation in 2018. He received his bachelor’s degree from Rice University in 2009, studying in the studio of Paul Ellison. Jablonski’s hometown is Columbus, Ohio, where he studied with Paul Robinson, professor of double bass at the Ohio State University, and John Pellegrino, assistant principal bass of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. Jablonski is also a member of the Gateway Chamber Orchestra in Clarksville, Tennessee, serving as co-principal bass. He has participated in numerous summer festivals, including the Schleswig-Holstein Orchestral Academy, Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Britten-Pears Orchestra, Sarasota Music Festival, and Perlman Music Program, and he spent two years as a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center. He has also competed in various solo competitions, most notably earning second place in the 2008 International Sperger Double Bass Competition in Ludwigslust, Germany. Jablonski is also an accomplished pianist and enjoys composing.
Principal & Managing Director, CCS Fundraising
Eric B. Javier is a principal and managing director with CCS, the largest fundraising strategy and management firm in the world. Established in 1947, CCS designs and implements significant fundraising campaigns and programs for leading nonprofit institutions.
For the last 20 years, Javier has advised leading executives and trustees from across the nonprofit sector. He has helped design and direct more than 200 fundraising campaigns and initiatives that have raised more than $2 billion to make a positive difference in communities all around the world. His primary areas of expertise include feasibility and planning studies, capital and endowment campaigns, major donor programs, principal gift solicitation strategies, strategic development planning, case messaging and development, and coaching and training.
Javier is a frequent speaker at industry gatherings and professional conferences, including the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), and the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).
Javier is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross. He and his wife, Kristin, reside with their two daughters in Westchester, NY.
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Assistant Professor of Composition, Texas Tech University
Speaking at New Voices: Orchestra Composers of Today
Composer Jennifer Jolley’s diverse catalog includes choral, orchestral, wind ensemble, chamber, and electronic works. She has been performed and commissioned by ensembles and institutions across the United States, Europe, and Australia, including the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, the Urban Playground Orchestra, the Central Ohio Symphony, Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, The Canales Project, and Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, among others. She is the co-founder of North American New Opera Workshop and has written articles for the e-zine NewMusicBox. Jolley deeply values the relationship that is created between composers and the communities with whom they collaborate. She has been composer-in-residence at Brevard College, University of Toledo, and the Vermont Symphony, and was in-residence at the Central Michigan University School of Music and the Alba Music Festival in Italy in 2018. She was the composer-in-residence of the Women Composers Festival of Hartford in 2019. She holds degrees from the University of Southern California and the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where her principal teachers included Stephen Hartke, Frank Ticheli, Michael Fiday, Joel Hoffman, and Douglas Knehans. Her music is distributed through ADJ-ective New Music and Murphy Music Press, LLC.
President & CEO, Stamford Symphony
Russell Jones is the president and CEO of the Stamford Symphony, a post he took up in October 2017. He hails from the United Kingdom where he began his career as orchestra personnel manager of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
He subsequently worked with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the National Federation of Music Societies, and the Association of Business Sponsorship of the Arts. During his term as director of the Association of British Orchestras, he spent a three-month sabbatical with the Pittsburgh Symphony, which paved the way for his appointment, in 2007, as vice president for marketing and membership at the League of American Orchestras. In 2012, he moved to the New York Philharmonic where he held a number of posts including director of planned giving, and director of major gifts.
Tanya Kalmanovitch, PhD
Speaking at a Student Constituency Meeting
Tanya Kalmanovitch is a Canadian violist, ethnomusicologist, and author known for her breadth of inquiry and restless sense of adventure. A violist trained at the Juilliard School, she bridges classical, jazz, and experimental improvised music and has been profiled in Jazz Times, DownBeat, and the New York Times. She is an associate professor at Mannes College at The New School, affiliated faculty at the Tishman Environment and Design Centre, and on faculty at the New England Conservatory in Boston. In 2018 she was named to the Grist 50 Fixers, a diverse group of innovators with solutions to climate change. Tanya’s uncommonly diverse interests converge in the fields of improvisation, social entrepreneurship, and social action with projects that explore the provocative cultural geography of locations around the world. Based in Brooklyn, her layered artistic research practice has been rewarded with extended residencies in India, Ireland, Afghanistan, Turkey, and Siberia. She is currently developing the Tar Sands Songbook, a multimedia music and spoken word performance that tells the stories of people whose lives, like hers, been shaped by living in close proximity to oil mining in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada.
Chief Advancement Officer, Los Angeles Philarmonic Association
Kathleen Kane currently serves as the chief advancement officer of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association. From 2004 to 2014, she was the chief philanthropy and external relations officer at City of Hope. During her time there, she completed a $1 billion comprehensive campaign and led the rejuvenation and refocusing of the fundraising department. She led the fundraising program at UCSF from 1983 to 2004. Kane has a JD from the University of San Francisco School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Sociology from Whitter College. She is on the Board of Trustees of Whittier College, Huntington Medical Research Institute, the Jonsson Cancer Research Foundation at UCLA, and the Fuller Foundation.
Manager of the NFM Wroclaw Philharmonic | International Cooperations and Artistic Planning, Narodowe Forum Muzyki im. W. Lutosławskiego
Natalia Klingbajl has been the manager of the NFM Wroclaw Philharmonic Orchestra since 2011. During that time she has been responsible for artistic programming and operations, as well as the touring and recording activities of the group. The development of the orchestra’s relationships with a broader range of guest conductors and soloists and the commissioning of new works have both been major areas on which she has concentrated. The NFM Wroclaw Philharmonic Orchestra is a permanent, publicly funded ensemble of 120 permanent members giving around 50 performances a year. It is a part of the National Forum of Music, an umbrella organization that includes twelve resident ensembles and eight festivals. In September 2015, the National Forum of Music’s new home, featuring an 1,800-seat concert hall and three smaller recital halls, was opened. Since joining the organization almost nine years ago, Klingbajl has worked closely with the general manager of the National Forum of Music, Andrzej Kosendiak, and she works closely with the rest of the NFM team in developing and shaping the artistic program of the institution. As part of her work, she is also responsible for the artistic use of the concert hall’s adjustable acoustics systems. Before joining the orchestra, Klingbajl studied piano at the Stanislaw Moniuszko Music Academy in Gdansk (MA degree) and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. She is also an alumna of the Warsaw School of Economics’ postgraduate studies program for culture managers.
Artistic Director & Conductor, Eureka Ensemble
Speaking at Check This Out!
Twenty-seven-year-old conductor Kristo Kondakçi, known for his vivacious and infectious musical energy, has acquired wide-ranging musical skills and an impressive list of accomplishments. He made his professional conducting debut with the Albanian National Orchestra in fall 2014 and his opera conducting debut with the Vienna Summer Music Festival Opera in summer 2018.
Based in Boston, MA, he is the co-founder and conductor of Eureka Ensemble, with the mission to nurture social change through music. Eureka Ensemble’s work in the community has been praised both locally and nationally.
His conducting activities include concerts with Kendall Square Orchestra as music director, the National Albanian Orchestra as principal guest conductor, and the Rivers Symphony and the Narragansett Bay Symphony. He has also conducted the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Pro Musica, Boston Landmarks Orchestra, Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, Music for Food, and Harvard's River Charles Ensemble, among many other groups, professional and academic. In 2018, Kondakçi co-founded the Women’s Chorus, bringing together women experiencing homelessness and severe poverty.
Off the podium, Kondakçi coaches chamber music at Harvard University as a non-resident music tutor and advises musical organizations in Boston on artistic programming, social entrepreneurship, and marketing/audience development. He has also made a significant contribution to Mahler research through his reconstruction of the original version of Mahler's 1st Symphony. He has assisted his mentor, critically-acclaimed composer Michael Gandolfi—among other Boston-based composers—in the preparation and publishing of new works.
Executive Director, The Dream Unfinished
As a music educator and arts professional, Eun Lee has prioritized socially relevant musical experiences for audiences of all ages. From 2012 to 2016 she worked as a teaching artist throughout New York City, focusing on young learners in settings such as the Corona Youth Music Project’s PreOrchestra and the Diller-Quaile School of Music’s Early Childhood Outreach Program; and leading children’s ensembles such as the Corona Children’s Orchestra and Corona Children’s Chorus. Since 2015 Lee has worked as an administrator at institutions such as the Diller-Quaile School of Music and the Youth Orchestra of St. Luke’s (YOSL), where she grew the program’s enrollment from 105 to over 170 students and oversaw a redesign of YOSL’s programming and curriculum. Lee currently serves as the manager of Carnegie Hall’s Link Up, an internationally distributed program which provides orchestras with curricula and professional development in engaging school-age audiences. Lee is the executive director of The Dream Unfinished, an Activist Orchestra, which she co-founded in 2014. She has been invited to speak on The Dream Unfinished for the Kennedy Center/SHIFT: Festival of American Orchestras, Harvard University's Graduate Music Forum, Chamber Music America, and others.
Chief Executive Officer, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra
Speaking at Preparing the Orchestra Culture for Lasting EDI Work.
Christina Littlejohn has served the nonprofit industry leading orchestra start-up or turnarounds for over twenty years. She joined the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra as executive director in June of 2009, when the orchestra could make only six more months of payroll. In the last nine years, the ASO has balanced its budget, even in the two seasons its concert hall was closed; successfully completed a $7.1 Orchestrating the Future campaign; increased overall concert attendance; been recognized by Arkansas Business for its excellence in governance; and received national grants for community outreach including Music Alive and NEA grants. Littlejohn was Chair of Group 3 Orchestras for the League of American Orchestras for two years. In 2013, she was one of 50 arts leaders from around the world selected to participate in National Arts Strategies Chief Executives program and a finalist for the Nonprofit Executive Director of the Year for Arkansas Business. Before joining the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Littlejohn was executive director of the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra during the two seasons its concert hall was closed for renovations. From 1996 to 2006, Littlejohn led the transition of Symphony Concerts of Mobile, a presenter of touring orchestras in Mobile, AL, to Mobile Symphony, a professional orchestra that serves the needs of the Mobile Bay community. Littlejohn has led talks for Methodist Ministers on Leading through Change. She earned a Masters of Business Administration and Masters of Arts Administration from the University of Cincinnati and a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Furman University.
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Musician, Composer, Community Activist, Author, Poet
His work is being performed on Tuesday June 4, 'Crucifixion Resurrection: Nine Souls a-Traveling' Performance
Classic composer and jazz trumpeter Hannibal Lokumbe (né Marvin Peterson) has been celebrating and commemorating the African-American experience through music and words for over four decades. Lokumbe’s work has been commissioned and performed by symphonies and orchestras across the country, including The Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra (“Can you hear God Crying?” conducted by Dirk Brossé, 2012), The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (“Dear Mrs. Parks,” conducted by Thomas Wilkins, 2005), and The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra (“God, Mississippi and a Man Called Evers” conducted by Dr. Leslie Dunner, 2002). Lokumbe’s piece “One Land, One River, One People” was performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra under the direction of Yannick Nézet-Séguin in November 2015.
Lokumbe’s oratorio “African Portraits” debuted at Carnegie Hall with conductor Paul Lustig Dunkel and the American Composers Orchestra in 1990. Since its debut, “African Portraits” has been performed over two hundred times by orchestras across America, and was recorded with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Daniel Barenboim. In 2014, Lokumbe completed “Trilogy Freedom Dance Cycle,” a narrative about the murders of three men––James Earl Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner––who were registering African-Americans to vote in Mississippi during the Freedom Summer Campaign in 1964. Originally from Smithville Texas, Lokumbe lived and played in New York’s jazz scene for over thirty years, where he performed with many of his music idols including: Gil Evans, Roy Haynes, Cecil Taylor, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra ,and Elvin Jones. Lokumbe is the founder and director of the Music Liberation Orchestra, a program that teaches music, genealogy, and writing to incarcerated men around the country.
President & CEO, North Carolina Symphony
Speaking at Placing Patrons at the Center.
Sandi M. A. Macdonald joined the North Carolina Symphony as president and CEO in June 2011. In this role she oversees the operations of the $15M professional orchestra of 66 musicians who perform 180+ concerts and 120+ community engagement events annually, plus 35 administrative staff. Macdonald's responsibilities support the mission of the symphony to perform at the highest artistic quality and embrace the dual legacy of statewide service and music education.
Prior to joining the North Carolina Symphony, Macdonald worked for The Cleveland Orchestra as Miami residency director from 2007 to 2011 and from 2003 to 2007 as its director of marketing and public relations. From 1998 to 2003, Macdonald served as senior director, strategic planning and audience development, of the Seattle Symphony. Prior to that, she worked in positions of increasing responsibility at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, concluding her tenure as marketing and communications director.
Macdonald holds a bachelor’s degree in business marketing and Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. She studied music at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and arts management at the Banff School of Management.
Macdonald is a PRESTO mentor with El Sistema USA, an organization dedicated to changing children’s lives through orchestra music training. She is also a member of the Board of Advisors of the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce and is chair of the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau. In 2018 she received Triangle Business Journal’s CEO of the Year Award.
Director of Marketing and Patron Loyalty, California Symphony
Speaking at Check This Out!
Theresa Madeira is a seasoned marketer with 20+ years experience in subscriptions marketing and customer engagement and retention, including for the Financial Times and online music streaming service Pandora. Originally from the UK, she has lived and worked across three continents, in London, Tokyo, and the San Francisco Bay area.
In 2017, Madeira made the switch to the nonprofit sector and joined the California Symphony in the newly created role of director of marketing and patron loyalty, a customer-centric position covering patron acquisition, engagement, retention, and development. Using a smart, segmented, data-driven approach and coordinated, multi-touch, multi-channel executions, all development campaigns she has run to date have exceeded target. In her first year with the organization, ticket sales increased by 16% year over year and subscriptions rose by 14%.
As well as being a fan of classical music since childhood, Maderia sings with the award-winning Blackhawk Chorus and is a founder member of and songwriter for close vocal harmony group Jubilee Road. She graduated from Oxford University with a degree in Modern History. Madeira has lived in the Bay Area since 2000.
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Dr. Heather Malyuk
Founder, Soundcheck Audiology
Heather will be leading a Musicians constituency meeting.
Dr. Heather Malyuk is an audiologist and musician from northeast Ohio. She holds a degree in Music History & Literature from the University of Akron and received her clinical doctorate in Audiology from Kent State University. She owns and directs Soundcheck Audiology, a mobile, concierge hearing wellness practice that specializes in expert audiologic care and education for the music industry. Her diverse clientele ranges from well-known touring acts to nationally acclaimed orchestras, local bands, and amateur music enthusiasts. Malyuk has been a reviewer for the Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, serves on the wellness committee for the College Music Society, and is an active member of the Performing Arts Medicine Association. She is highly involved with the National Hearing Conservation Association, serving as a delegate for its executive council in addition to being a member of its Music Induced Hearing Disorders taskforce. In 2015, her paper, “New Developments in In-Ear Monitor (IEM) Technology for Musicians with Hearing Loss,” was published through the Audio Engineering Society for their 58th International Conference on Music Induced Hearing Disorders in Aalborg, Denmark. Malyuk has been featured as a lecturer and panelist at conferences such as the Regional Orchestra Players Association, the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians, AudiologyNOW, and AES. Musically, she has toured, taught, and recorded extensively and has been recognized by The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for her performance on the Emmy-Award winning documentary "A Tree Grows In Washington: The John F Seiberling Story."
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Section Cello, Nashville Symphony
Cellist Bradley Mansell has been a member of the Nashville Symphony since 1984. He also serves on the faculty of the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University. Mansell has performed numerous solo and chamber music recitals throughout the United States and Europe and has been named to Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities. He has also been the recipient of the Outstanding Teacher award from the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts. He is originally from Sharon, Pennsylvania and received a Bachelor of Music degree from the Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University and a Master of Music degree in Cello Performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. His principal teachers have included Michael Gelfand, Lee Fiser, and Zara Nelsova. He has also served as an adjudicator for the Music Teachers National Association, the American String Teachers Association, and the Young Texas Artists Competitions. Mansell is currently the delegate to the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians, representing the Nashville Symphony.
Creative Director, violinist, StringCandy / Re-Collective Orchestra
Balancing traditional classical music, contemporary concert music, and mainstream genres, Stephanie Matthews is a dynamic young violinist and entrepreneur who continues to blaze her own trail in the music industry while championing artistic excellence and social consciousness. She is the co-founder of the Re-Collective Orchestra, an all-Black orchestra dedicated to raising the visibility and profile of Black musicians and to present culturally relevant work to engage diverse audiences. An avid arts advocate, Matthews has conducted numerous master classes and seminars for young musicians, both within the United States and abroad. She was the former director of artist development for the Sphinx Organization, cultivating the careers of some of the nation's top Black and Latino artists through professional development initiatives, including the Sphinx Competition, Sphinx Soloist Program, and the Sphinx Virtuosi tour. She has served as the assistant dean and violin faculty with the Sphinx Performance Academy, visiting violin faculty at Queensborough Community College-City University of New York, and artist in residence at the National Academy of Performing Arts in Trinidad and Tobago.
Noteworthy solo performances include her recent performances at the Godollo Castle in Budapest, Hungary and the Zenepalota Palace of Music in Miskolc, Hungary; a solo recital at Queens Hall in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad under the patronage of Trinidad’s President George Maxwell Richards; appearances at the Dundas Performing Arts Centre in support of a Safe House for Women in Nassau, Bahamas; and a series of solo performances with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Matthews has also been featured as guest soloist with the Washington Symphony Orchestra and Takoma Park Symphony Orchestra. She is currently the concertmaster of the Brooklyn Orchestra under the direction of Olivier Glissant. She previously held the position of concertmaster of the Verdi Orchestra under Maestra Carol Crawford, presented by the Martina Arroyo Foundation. She was also a violinist with the Soulful Symphony under Darin Atwater and the Sphinx Virtuosi. She is a member of the La Moda Piano Trio and former founding member of the Ebony Strings Quartet.
Kathleen McCracken, CVA
Director of Volunteer Services, Nashville Symphony
Speaking at Evolving Models for Leveraging Volunteers.
Kathleen McCracken first heard the Nashville Symphony when her fifth-grade class was invited to the War Memorial Auditorium for a Young People's Concert. It was love at first hearing, and the affair has continued through the Tennesse Performing Arts Center days and into the Schermerhorn Symphony Center era. McCracken was a graduate fellow at the University of Mississippi and holds a Master’s Degree from the University of Tennessee. She has worked with nonprofits in Nashville for over 20 years. When she's not at the hall, she might be in a deserted nook practicing ukulele or ashiko. Among her favorite things are Cape Cod, Yeats, French composers, and a barn full of animals.
Section Cello, San Antonio Symphony
Performing at the League Annual Meeting & Luncheon
A native of St. Louis, Ryan Murphy is currently in his seventh season with the San Antonio Symphony. He was previously the OTPAAM (Orchestra Training Program for African American Musicians) fellow with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He received his masters degree from the Juilliard School with Bonnie Hampton and while still a student at the Cleveland Institute of Music with Stephen Geber, Murphy made his solo debut with the Detroit Symphony followed by an additional appearance with the Cleveland Orchestra. Both performances came as the result of placing second in the Sphinx Competition in 2003. He is in his fifth year as adjunct cello instructor at University of Texas at San Antonio.
Client Engagement Officer, TRG Arts
Speaking at Placing Patrons at the Center.
Eric Nelson, client engagement officer at TRG Arts, has dedicated over twenty years to improving organizational structures and generating revenue for nonprofits. Prior to re-joining TRG Arts, Nelson was director of marketing and communications for New York City’s Kaufman Music Center, home of Merkin Concert Hall, Lucy Moses School (New York’s largest community arts school), and Special Music School (a K-12 public school for musically gifted youth). Nelson was also vice president of client services, new business and marketing for DCM, specializing in marketing and fundraising strategies for nonprofit organizations.
Executive Vice President, TDC
Speaking at New Strategies for Success in Audience Research and Development
Susan Nelson, executive vice president, TDC, has been with the company 1987. Over the years, she has led a wide range of projects that includes mergers, strategic business plans, financial restructuring, and facilities planning. Nelson’s practice focuses on the complex challenge of aligning an organization’s strategy, implementation plan, and financial sustainability. Her deep financial and market analysis skills and hands-on operational experience have given her a special expertise in how to scale an organization to an appropriate size while creating a sustainable financial capitalization plan. She has worked with clients of all sizes across the country in the areas of arts and culture, community development, education, and social services. She also works with foundation clients to develop effective granting programs and strengthen their investments in organizations. Nelson is the author of a number of publications about capitalization and the nonprofit arts sector, includingGetting Beyond Breakeven and its follow-up, Capitalization, Scale & Investment: Does Growth Equal Gain? She also contributed to the recent study of how eleven American cities support the artsentitled, How Boston and Other American Cities Support and Sustain the Arts. Nelson is a regular presenter at conferences including those of the League of American Orchestras, Theater Communications Group, Opera America, Opera Canada, National Black Theater Alliance, Shakespeare Theater Association, Jewish Funders Network, and Grantmakers in the Arts. Prior to joining TDC, sheheld management positions at a variety of nonprofits and public agencies, including the Boston Housing Authority and the Opera Company of Boston.
Vice President, Advocacy, League of American Orchestras
Heather Noonan is the vice president for advocacy for the League of American Orchestras. From the League’s Washington, D.C. office, Noonan represents orchestras before Congress, the White House, and federal agencies in the arenas of government arts funding, education reform, international cultural activity, and nonprofit and philanthropic policies, and leads the League’s efforts to increase the advocacy capacity of orchestras.
She serves on the national advisory committee of the Arts Education Partnership and co-convenes the national Arts Education Policy Working Group. Noonan established and edits the League web site Artists from Abroad: The Complete Guide to Immigration and Tax Requirements for Foreign Guest Artists. She also leads the League’s technical assistance to orchestras navigating the complex aviation and protected species rules related to travel with musical instruments, and is representing global music interests in treaty negotiations at the 18th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. Noonan has served on the Public Policy Advisory Committee for Independent Sector, the national leadership network for America’s nonprofit and philanthropic sector. Prior to joining the League in 1996, she was a legislative associate for the American Arts Alliance. She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and studied art history at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington.
Vice President of Development, Nashville Symphony Orchestra
Jonathan Norris is the father of amazing six year old twins, James and Ella, husband to the brilliant Jennifer, and is honored to work with the inspirational team at the Nashville Symphony.
Director of Development, Madison Symphony Orchestra
Speaking at Evolving Models for Leveraging Volunteers .
As Director of Development for the Madison Symphony Orchestra, Casey Oelkers oversees all aspects of the Symphony’s fundraising and donor relations. She previously served as Annual Giving Manager for the Madison Symphony Orchestra, and as Operations Coordinator for the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras. Casey received a B.M. in Flute Performance from the University of Maryland-College Park and an M.A. in Arts Administration from Florida State University. She has held seasonal administrative positions with the Tanglewood Music Center, Marlboro Music Festival and the New York String Orchestra Seminar, and she completed the League of American Orchestras' Essentials of Orchestra Management Seminar.
Commissioner, Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service
Speaking at Foundations of Collective Bargaining.
Barbara Owens is a Commissioner in Boston, Massachusetts field office of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS). Owens joined the FMCS in 2017, having worked as an international representative and negotiator for the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM) from 2008.In addition to supervising 68 locals in the upper Great Lakes and New England area, Owens developed webinar and training programs and materials for officers and members.
Prior to that, she served as president of the 1600-member Boston Musicians' Association, AFM Local 9-535, for nine years. She also performed as a professional freelance violinist in MA, RI, and NY. Owens held positions as director of operations for the Providence (RI) Performing Arts Center, the Lake Forest (IL) Symphony, and the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra, and as orchestra manager for Boston Música Viva and the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra.
Owens graduated with a Bachelor of Music in performance from Boston University School for the Arts, and received certification from the Harvard University Program on Negotiation and the Labor Guild School of Industrial Relations. Her professional affiliations include past membership in the AFM and the Labor Guild, and current membership in the National Association of Parliamentarians (registered parliamentarian) and the Professional Musicians Club (president). She lives in Cambridge, MA, with her husband, son, and rescue dog. She enjoys cooking, reading, and spending time with her family.
Principal Trombone, Louisville Orchestra
2019 Ford Musician Awardee
Speaking at Musicians Transforming Communities
Australian trombonist Donna Parkes has been Principal Trombone of the Louisville Orchestra since 2008 and has been Principal Trombone of the Colorado Music Festival since 2009. Prior to this year she played the 2012-13 season with the Utah Symphony and the 2007-8 season with the San Francisco Symphony. Miss Parkes was a member of the Virginia Symphony from 2001-2007 and was a member of the New World Symphony under Michael Tilson Thomas. She has performed with many orchestras including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, London Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Oregon Symphony, National Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Singapore Symphony, Sydney Symphony and the Australian Chamber Orchestra. Miss Parkes has performed at the Arizona Musicfest, the Malboro Festival and the Grand Tetons Festival and in 2016 toured with the Australian World Orchestra. Solo competition successes include winning the Australian National Trombone Competition, the Brisbane International Brass Competition and finalist in the Jeju Brass Competition in Korea. She has appeared as a soloist or clinician at the International Women’s Brass Conference, International Trombone Festival and the Melbourne International Festival of Brass. Since 2016 Miss Parkes has served on the Louisville Orchestra Musicians Committee and the Board of the Louisville Orchestra. Dedicated to outreach and education, she has been active throughout her career as brass teacher and with a wide range of community engagement projects.
Principal Cello, New Haven Symphony Orchestra
2019 Ford Musician Awardee
Speaking at Musicians Transforming Communities
The New York Times describes cellist Rebecca Patterson as having an "uncommonly warm and rounded tone.” A founding member of the nationally-acclaimed and award-winning ensemble Antares, Ms. Patterson dedicated over fifteen years (1996-2012) to performing and recording chamber music and contemporary works, commissioning new works, and teaching. After the ensemble’s first year, they swept the top prizes in the Fischoff, Coleman, Yellow Springs, and Carmel National Chamber Music Competitions. Then in 2002, Antares was awarded the top prize in the Concert Artists Guild Competition in New York City. Under their five-year management, the ensemble performed throughout the US and Canada and also recorded and commissioned numerous works for the piano-clarinet quartet genre. In 2007 they joined Sciolino Artist Management until they disbanded in 2012 to pursue other interests. Ms. Patterson received her B.M. from the Eastman School of Music and her M.M. from the Yale School of Music, where she studied with Paul Katz and Aldo Parisot, respectively. While at Eastman she was winner of the Gibbs Chamber Orchestra Concerto competition, as well as the recipient of the full-merit Lois Smith Rogers Scholarship. At Yale, she was a recipient of the Ender Scholarship. Ms. Patterson has served as Principal Cellist for the New Haven Symphony Orchestra since 2012. Her appointment has enabled her to also be actively involved with numerous educational programs developed or sponsored by the NHSO, ranging from working with young composers, to being a mentor in the Harmony Fellowship Program, to showcasing high school string quartets in a pre-NHSO concert community service performance, to performing in family concerts and area libraries for kids, to her favorite – the NHSO Fellowship Quartet / Recording Composition Class at Wilbur Cross High School. In addition, Ms. Patterson is a dedicated private teacher and chamber coach of all ages, and serves on the faculty of the Neighborhood Music School, the Elm City ChamberFest, the Westport School of Music, Southern Connecticut State University, and previously at the University of Connecticut, Storrs (2014-2018).
Director, Association of British Orchestras
Speaking at Maestro Mash Up Conductor Constituency Session
Mark Pemberton is director of the Association of British Orchestras, which exists to champion, connect, and develop professional orchestras across the UK. After graduating from Oxford University, he started his career in arts management as administrator of the professional touring theatre company Quicksilver Theatre for Children, before moving to leading drama conservatoires Drama Centre London as its general administrator and Mountview Theatre School as head of development and marketing. Before joining the ABO, he was chief executive of the National Operatic and Dramatic Association, the UK’s representative body for amateur and community theater, during which time he served as chair of Voluntary Arts England. He is currently chair of the National Music Council of the United Kingdom, which exists to promote the interests of the music sector as a whole.
Vice President, TDC
Christopher Perez, vice president, TDC, joined the company in 2007. He works with clients to define the path for their organizations’ development, building upon their vision and expertise. He assists in answering important questions through data collection and analysis, reaching practical solutions to strategic challenges through honest reflection, and gauging feasibility and risk through financial models. Ultimately, he helps clients digest this information and articulate possible implications for the future. Prior to joining TDC, Perez worked as a program officer at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a nonprofit free speech advocacy group. Perez holds a BA in English from the University of Pennsylvania.
Associate Dean & Faculty, Entrepreneurial Musicianship, New England Conservatory
Speaking at a Students Constituency Meeting.
Annie is a musician and arts advocate in Boston, MA. She is Associate Dean of Entrepreneurial Musicianship at the New England Conservatory, Co-Director of San Francisco's Switchboard Music, and an instructor for the University of Massachusetts' Arts Extension Service.
Previously, Phillips was on faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music; Programs and Operations Lead at Zoo Labs, an innovative arts incubator program located in a recording studio in West Oakland; and has worked for the San Francisco Symphony, the Magik*Magik Orchestra, and on behalf of numerous independent ensembles promoting new and interesting musical presentations.
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Director, Agency Initiatives, Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service
Speaking at Foundations of Collective Bargaining.
Javier Ramirez began his FMCS career as a Commissioner in 2005 and currently is the director of the Division of Agency Initiatives for the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS). This office bears responsibility for the Offices of Conflict Management & Prevention, Strategy & Development, and Education & Training, and the FMCS Institute for Conflict Management. The combined efforts of these departments help identify, develop, and implement innovative approaches to labor-management relations and conflict management. This office plays a key role in achieving and embedding transformational change in the methods and means of delivering services through strategic skill-building, innovative uses of new technology platforms, and cutting-edge approaches to conflict management and labor relations.
Ramirez has been at the forefront of FMCS’s efforts to engage, inform, and educate prospective customers, stakeholders, and interested parties with new technologies and innovative outreach programs. He has guest lectured on labor relations and dispute resolution topics at the University of Illinois, University of Colorado, Cornell, and other colleges and universities. In addition, he has represented the Agency in international tri-partite training efforts in Bangladesh and has been the recipient of multiple FMCS performance awards in recognition of his work, including the Director’s Award.
Ramirez has trained and successfully facilitated parties in collaborative bargaining models in sectors of the economy ranging from manufacturing to university professors. He has successfully facilitated multi-party issues in manufacturing and construction and was on the facilitation team for several regulatory negotiations including a multi-party DOE negotiations that resulted in the largest energy saving rule in DOE history. Ramirez has led instruction on facilitation skills including modules on facilitating complex multi-party disputes and trained peer mediators of the U.S. Forest Service, Milwaukee Public Schools and at National Defense University.
Ramirez has presented at numerous national and regional conferences on conflict-related topics, including generational conflict, conflict resolution, neuroscience principles in conflict, improving communication, effective use of mediation, collective bargaining (traditional, interest-based and affinity economic bargaining,) and mind-mapping.
Prior to FMCS, Ramirez spent more than fourteen years in labor relations negotiating contracts and resolving disputes in areas such as immigration, contract administration, communication, staffing, and politics (federal, state, and local). His efforts have been featured in Rolling Stone and Chicago Tribune Magazine and cited in the New York Times Best Seller Fast Food Nation and Chicago Lawyer Magazine and recognized by the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.
Director of Arts, The Wallace Foundation
Bahia Ramos joined The Wallace Foundation in 2018 as director of arts. She leads the team responsible for the strategy and implementation of the foundation’s work in areas including building audiences for the arts and promoting arts education for young people.
Before arriving at Wallace, Ramos served as program director of the arts for the Knight Foundation, where she led the organization’s strategy for a $35 million annual investment in arts funding across the country. In that role, she built national partnerships and initiatives with organizations such as ArtPlace and Sundance, and worked on the local level to bring more high-quality arts experiences to diverse audiences and neighborhoods. Previously at Knight, Ramos had served as director/community foundations, managing a $140 million investment in community foundations in 26 cities supporting local civic innovation and community vibrancy.
Ramos has given presentations on a wide range of topics at forums across the country, including Grantmakers in the Arts, the Arts & Business Council of New York, the Alliance of Artist Communities, and Black Portraitures IV.
Ramos received her undergraduate degree in history from Williams College, and a Master of Public Administration from Baruch College’s Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, where she was a member of the Pi Alpha Alpha Honors Society and a National Urban Fellow.
Principal Violist, Fort Wayne Philharmonic
Performing at League Annual Meeting & Luncheon
Fort Wayne Philharmonic principal violist Derek Reeves began his musical studies at the age of 2 1/2. A graduate of Indiana University, he was the recipient of the prestigious Performer’s Certificate, as well as having earned Bachelor and Master of Music degrees. Prior to coming to Fort Wayne, he held the positions of associate concertmaster of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, concertmaster of the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, and associate concertmaster of the Evansville Philharmonic. He has also performed with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra.
As a soloist, Reeves has appeared with The Bryan Symphony Orchestra, The Erie Chamber Orchestra, The Niagara Symphony Orchestra, The Fort Wayne Philharmonic, The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, The Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, The Indianapolis Philharmonic Orchestra, The Carmel Symphony Orchestra, and The Gateways Festival Orchestra.
As a chamber musician, Reeves has been the violist of the Philharmonic’s own Freimann Quartet since 2003. He has participated in the Spoleto, Aspen, Gateways, and Prizm International Music Festivals and is also in demand as a recitalist, guest artist, recording studio musician, and arranger.
Reeves also maintains a robust teaching schedule, teaching viola at The Purdue University Fort Wayne School of Music, designing curriculum and teaching for the Phil’s “Club O” program, and keeping a private studio of violin and viola students as well. He performs on a viola made by Mark Womack in 2005 and lives in Fort Wayne with his wife, Patricia, and son, Preston.
VP of Education & Community Engagement, Seattle Symphony
Speaking at Engaging the LGBTQ+ Community.
Laura Reynolds is the vice president of education and community engagement at the Seattle Symphony and has been with the orchestra since 2012. She oversees all programming for families, schools, communities, and young artists and played a leading role in developing and launching Simple Gifts, an organization-wide homelessness initiative. Since 2015, she has led the redesign for Benaroya Hall’s newest venue, Octave 9: Raisbeck Music Center, which explores the intersections between music, learning, and technology. Laura co-chairs the League of American Orchestra’s Education and Community Engagement Leadership Committee and serves on the board of directors and executive committee for Compass Housing Alliance, a nonprofit serving people experiencing homelessness.
Prior to joining the Seattle Symphony, Reynolds was the program manager for the Grammy-award winning San Francisco Boys Chorus. She also worked for the arts integration research organization Music in Schools Today and for the USC Thornton School of Music Outreach Program. A native of Los Angeles, Reynolds graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Music in French Horn Performance from the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music and was the recipient of the 2010 Pepsi Co. Diversity Fellowship, Dean’s Award, and Leadership Award from Stanford Graduate School of Business’ Summer Institute for General Management. In 2016 she was selected as one of twenty-eight leaders for the National Arts Strategies Senior Management Institute learning cohort. In her free time, Reynolds enjoys cooking, cycling, learning French, and travelling.
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Lifetime Board Member and Past Chair, Utah Symphony | Utah Opera
Community and arts leader Patricia A. Richards is the retired senior vice president and senior regional manager for Wells Fargo’s wealth management division. She chaired the Board of Trustees of Utah Symphony | Utah Opera for nine years and served as interim president and CEO in 2016. She recently served on the Westminster College Board of Trustees and as Chairman of the League of American Orchestras Board. Richards is a past recipient of the Salt Lake Chamber’s Athena Award, the Utah Bankers’ Association distinguished Banker Award, and the Governor’s Leadership in the Arts Award. She has also received an honorary doctorate from Westminster College.
Vice President and General Manager, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Speaking at New Strategies for Success in Audience Research and Development
Tonya McBride Robles is finishing her third season at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra as Vice President and General Manager; she is responsible for the artistic, operations, and education programs. During her tenure the orchestra toured internationally for the first time in 13 years, with a successful 2018 debut at the BBC Proms and the Edinburgh Festival, and has released numerous critically-acclaimed recordings.
Tonya joined the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in her current role following a two-decade career in arts and nonprofit management, with several international postings as a music educator. While serving as Executive Director of Concert Artists of Baltimore, she led its participation as one of twenty organizations competitively selected for the DeVos Institute “Capacity Building Baltimore” program, an intensive training initiative for arts managers and their boards. Tonya’s past orchestra experiences include a successful stint as Executive Director of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, during which time the orchestra endowment doubled, and management amicably settled a progressive three-year agreement with the musicians union. At the San Antonio Symphony, she worked as the Education and Outreach Director and managed bilingual outreach initiatives and a composer residency with Roberto Xavier Rodriguez. Tonya has returned to the orchestra where she got her start in the business, first as an Artistic Administration Intern, then as the Coordinator of Youth Programs overseeing the Arts Excel program that brought BSO musicians into Baltimore City schools.
Tonya received a Bachelor of Music Education and Performer’s Certificate in Voice from the Peabody Conservatory, where she studied with Phyllis Bryn-Julson, and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Maryland University College Europe.
Tonya is married to Mike, a retired U.S. Naval Officer; together they made thirteen moves, with international assignments to Spain, Bahrain, Japan, and Ecuador. Their son, Sam, is a rising senior in the acting program at the Baltimore School for the Arts.
Executive Associate Dean for Academic Programs and Professor, IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
Patrick Rooney is professor of economics and philanthropic studies, and the executive associate dean for academic programs at the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. While he served as the executive director of the Center on Philanthropy, he worked closely with the Center’s board and the campus administration to become the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy—the world’s first school of philanthropy. Rooney also served as the Center’s first full-time director of research, building the Center into one of the nation’s premier philanthropy research organizations, leading research projects for organizations such as Giving USA, Bank of America, American Express, Gates, Google, and United Way Worldwide. He has served as a member of several national advisory groups, including the U.S. Corporation for National and Community Service, the U.S. Bureau of the Census’ Current Population Survey, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Independent Sector, Nonprofit Academic Centers Council, Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance, and the Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religions Panel on Nonprofit Sector Representatives. A nationally recognized expert on philanthropy and charitable giving, Rooney has published many academic and practitioner papers. He speaks frequently across the country on issues related to philanthropy and nonprofit management and has been quoted by national news media outlets such as PBS’s Nightly Business Report, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and USA Today. He earned his BA, MA, and PhD in Economics at Notre Dame.
President & CEO, American Composers Forum
Appointed president and CEO of the American Composers Forum in January 2019, Vanessa Rose has a career in the performing arts that has spanned from The Metropolitan Opera to The Knights orchestra collective, the Lark Play Development Center (for playwrights), and the International Contemporary Ensemble. She has led organizations through significant transitions: establishing new executive positions, building effective governance structures, clarifying mission-driven priorities, and strengthening communication and fundraising strategies. As a consultant, Rose has overseen EarShot, the national orchestra program for emerging composers, and guided groups such as the Talea Ensemble, Arco Collaborative, and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s through organizational and staff changes. She has served on grant panels for The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Opera America’s Female Composer Discovery Grants, and the Brooklyn Arts Council. In 2006, Rose completed the League of American Orchestra’s prestigious Orchestra Management Fellowship Program, which included residencies with the Dallas Symphony, Elgin Symphony, Aspen Music Festival and School, and San Francisco Symphony. A violinist, she attended Indiana University, Eastman School of Music, Mannes College of Music, and the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, The Netherlands. In her spare time, Rose continues to play the violin in local groups, travels and learns new languages and cultures, and is a social impact fellow with Inspiring Capital, a B-Corps consulting group.
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President and CEO, League of American Orchestras
Since becoming President and CEO of the League of American Orchestras in 2008, Jesse Rosen has been a leading voice for the League’s more than 2,000 member organizations and individuals, empowering them with knowledge and perspective to navigate a rapidly changing environment. Rosen has been instrumental in overseeing the League’s renewed focus on developing longitudinal research benefitting the entire orchestra field and has created new initiatives in the areas of equity, diversity, and inclusion; artistry, leadership development, governance, capitalization, and community engagement, including Ford Made in America; the Ford Musician Awards for Excellence in Community Service; the Music Alive composer residency program; the Noteboom Governance Center; and the American Orchestras’ Futures Fund. Under his direction, the League has been a catalyst for the orchestra field’s collective action around equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI), including the drive to increase participation of musicians from underrepresented communities. Among the League’s endeavors are annual Forums and national task forces that led to the creation of the National Alliance for Audition Support (NAAS), supporting early career Black and Latinx musicians with mentorships and audition travel stipends; the creation of two major quantitative and qualitative studies on diversity in orchestras; and the launch of The Catalyst Fund regranting program, building the internal capacity of orchestras to advance their understanding of EDI and to foster effective EDI practices.
Rosen serves on the boards of the American Composers Orchestra and the Performing Arts Alliance, and is a member of the National Center for Arts Research Board of Advisors. He is an experienced orchestra executive who has served as general manager of the Seattle Symphony, executive director of the American Composers Orchestra in New York City, and orchestra manager of the New York Philharmonic. A trombonist, Rosen received his bachelor’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music and pursued graduate studies at The Juilliard School.
Section Second Violin, Nashville Symphony
Laura Ross, a 2nd violinist with the Nashville Symphony, joined the orchestra in 1984. Prior to moving to Nashville, she was a member of the Toledo Symphony (1982-84), the Flint Symphony (1979-82), the Ann Arbor Chamber Orchestra (Principal 2nd Violin 1980-82), and the Windsor Symphony (1975-77). Ross has served as the Nashville Symphony’s Union Steward since 1995 for the Nashville Musicians Association, Local 257 AFM, and since 2000, she has served on Local 257’s Executive Board and as AFM Convention Delegate. She has served on the negotiating team for every NSO negotiation and as an ex-officio member of the orchestra committee since 1990.
On a national level, Ross continues to serve as the secretary of the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians (ICSOM), which represents the top 52 orchestras in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, a position she was elected to in 2002. The Nashville Symphony joined ICSOM in 2000. From 1991-94, she served the Regional Orchestra Players’ Association (ROPA) as member-at-large and then as ROPA secretary from 1994-2000. In 1989 she began serving on the negotiating committees for national Symphony-Opera-Ballet agreements covering Audio-Internet, Audio-Visual, Live Recording, and the Integrated Media Agreement, as a member of the ROPA—and later the ICSOM—Electronic Media Committees. Ross was appointed to serve as one of three rank-and-file Union Trustees of the American Federation of Musicians and Employers’ Pension Fund (AFM-EPF) in August 2010.
Ross was born and raised in Royal Oak, Michigan and holds both a Bachelor of Music and a Master of Music in Violin Performance from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor). Teachers included Emily Mutter Austin and Angel Reyes.
Director Enterprise Consulting, Tessitura
Steven Roth brings over two decades worth of industry experience to the Tessitura Enterprise Consulting Team. He is a recognized thought leader in CRM and has worked with arts and culture organizations of all genres and sizes throughout North America. He was president and co-founder of The Pricing Institute and most recently was president of JCA Arts Marketing. Roth is a frequent presenter at industry conferences and has taught CRM and arts marketing at the graduate level. He resides just outside Boston, MA.
Chief Executive, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Dougie Scarfe joined the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra as its new chief executive in July 2012 after a successful career as performer, manager, and director at Opera North.
While at school, Scarfe was principal horn in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, before studying at the Royal Northern College of Music and winning the Hiles Medal for Orchestral playing.
In 2000 a serious playing-related jaw condition ended Scarfe's performing career. After four years as executive assistant to the general director at Opera North, in 2006 he became chorus and orchestra director and concerts director and was widely credited with transforming the concert and recording program at the company.
Outside Opera North, Scarfe maintained strong teaching and community links and remains passionate about the importance of music education and creating opportunities for young people to learn and experience live music of all genres. He played an important role in the founding of Yorkshire Young Musicians (YYM). Scarfe was a founder trustee and also chairman of the YYM Board of Trustees from 2005-2007
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Speaking at Auditions, Identity and Culture
Shea Scruggs is a consultant advising organizations on strategy and alignment. He works closely with senior leadership teams to help organizations craft stronger initiatives and build richer diversity, equity, and inclusion.
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President and CEO, Flourish Talent Management Solutions, LLC; Board Member, League of American Orchestras
Pratichi Shah is an HR strategist and thought leader with twenty-five years experience in all aspects of talent management, human resources, equity and inclusion, and organizational development in the nonprofit and for profit arenas.
Shah is the founder and CEO of Flourish Talent Management Solutions (FTMS), a firm focused on increasing impact through talent strategy development; strategy and culture alignment; training and organizational development; and coaching for executives and emerging leaders. FTMS works exclusively with the nonprofit and philanthropic communities and has helped to strengthen the impact of national and global organizations focused on issues such as civil rights, international development, social service, health research, women’s rights, education, environmental conservation, and public policy.
Prior to launching FTMS, Shah was the Chief Talent Officer (CTO) for Independent Sector, a nonprofit membership coalition that leads and mobilizes the charitable community. As the CTO, she led all human capital programs and processes for the organization, resulting in significant culture change and greater employee engagement. Before returning to the nonprofit sector, Pratichi was the Global Director of the Employer of Choice function for Willis Towers Watson (then known as Watson Wyatt Worldwide) and was part of the organizational Effectiveness department at the George Washington University and Hospital.
Shah often speaks about talent issues to national audiences, has been published in the Chronicle of Philanthropy and Stanford Social Innovation Review, and has been quoted in the New York Times annual “Giving” section regarding talent trends within the nonprofit sector. As an involved community leader, Pratichi serves on the Boards of Directors for the League of American Orchestras and BBB Wise Giving Alliance, and on the National Advisory Councils for Equity in the Center and Fund the People.
She holds an MBA in Human Resources from American University, a BA in the Psychology of Management from Eckerd College, and an executive coaching certification from the Newfield Network.
President & Chief Executive Officer, Oregon Symphony
Speaking at Raising Your Organization’s Largest Gifts
As CEO of the Oregon Symphony, Scott Showalter has grown its annual budget by 50% over the past five years (to $21 million). The organization balances its budget each year and has no debt. This financial success is due to many factors, including record ticket sales and donations. Today, the Oregon Symphony routinely solicits large gifts to fund big ideas. Before moving to Portland, Showalter worked as Vice President of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Associate Vice President of the University of Chicago, and Associate Dean of Standford Law School. He served on the executive teams of each of these organizations, while planning and running annual, capital, and endowment fundraising campaigns.
Director of Visual and Performing Arts, Metro Nashville Public Schools
Jeff Smith is proud to support the work of 400 arts educators in providing 86,000 students with equitable access to arts learning opportunities that demonstrate excellence in teaching and learning. Prior to joining Metro Nashville Public Schools, he served as director of arts for Duval County Public Schools in Jacksonville, FL. He has always been a staunch advocate for arts education and developed his love of the arts when introduced to the piano at the age of five. He was inspired to become a music educator while participating in the chorus, band, and drama programs during his high school years. He spent twelve years teaching music in New York and South Carolina before becoming a nonprofit leader in Jacksonville, FL.
Upon moving to Jacksonville in 2010, Mr. Smith served as associate director for the Cathedral Arts Project for three years. During that time, he oversaw program research, faculty development, and strategic partnerships while leading the expansion of after school, summer, and school day arts programs. He also started Smith Creative, a consulting company for nonprofits and businesses. Mr. Smith possesses a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music Education from LIU Post, Master of Science in Music Education from Western Connecticut State University, and a Professional Diploma in School District Leadership from The College of New Rochelle. He currently serves on the board of the Tennessee Performing Arts Center and on the education committee for the Nashville Symphony. He lives with his wife and three kids in Nashville.
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Promotion Director, G. Schirmer/AMP | Music Sales Classical
Speaking at a Composers Constituency Meeting
Rachel Sokolow is promotion director for G. Schirmer, Inc./AMP, part of the Music Sales Group of companies. In this capacity, she works closely in collaboration with the global Music Sales classical promotion team to drive the initiation of new projects, secure composers’ commissions, and serve as resourceful partner in exploring the wide-ranging G. Schirmer, Inc/AMP and greater collection of Music Sales Classical catalogs.
Prior to joining G. Schirmer and Music Sales Classical, she spent seven years at Carnegie Hall (2004-2011), where she co-led the start-up, launch, and early implementation of the Ensemble Connect program. She also designed and led the early pilot phase of Link Up National, managing the first-wave expansion of the New York City-based educational program into a national orchestral partnership program.
She later served as the artistic administrator for David Finckel and Wu Han’s company, ArtistLed, with a focus on artistic planning, artist engagement, and festival program production to support two festivals (Music@Menlo and Chamber Music Today), two record labels (ArtistLed and Music@MenloLIVE), and a variety of entrepreneurial projects. She earned a B.M. in Violin Performance from The Hartt School, and played in the Oregon Symphony before discovering the wonderful world of arts administration and publishing.
G. Schirmer, Inc. is the oldest continuously active North American classical music publisher. Its sister publishing houses in the Music Sales Group include Chester Music and Novello, Edition Wilhelm Hansen, Alphonse Leduc, Chant du Monde, and Unión Musical Ediciones. The Group represents works by many of the most important composers of the 20th and 21st centuries, including Hans Abrahamsen, Matthew Aucoin, Samuel Barber, Daniel Catán, John Corigliano, Donnacha Dennehy, Avner Dorman, Ludovico Einaudi, Duke Ellington, George Fenton, Gabriela Lena Frank, Charles Ives, Peter Lieberson, Witold Lutoslawski, Gian Carlo Menotti, Missy Mazzoli, Nico Muhly, Thea Musgrave, Kaija Saariaho, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Bright Sheng, Sarah Kirkland Snider, Tan Dun, and John Tavener.
Attorney, Bernstein, Shur, Sawyer & Nelson, P.A.
Speaking at Copyrights and Music Licensing: Practical Considerations for Orchestras. Ari will also lead a joint constituency session for Composers and Artistic Administrators.
Ari Solotoff is an attorney at Bernstein, Shur, Sawyer & Nelson, P.A. located in Portland, Maine, where he is a member of the firm's business law practice group. Solotoff focuses his practice on serving clients in the entertainment, arts, and nonprofit sectors. Prior to studying law, Solotoff worked for over a decade in the classical music industry, where he served as executive vice president of The Philadelphia Orchestra, and before that, as executive director of the Portland and Pensacola symphonies. Solotoff presently serves as chair of the ABA Sports and Entertainment Law Forum, Theater and Performing Arts Division. He is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law and the University of California, Berkeley.
Board Member of the League of American Orchestras and the San Francisco Symphony
Trine Sorensen is a member of the boards of the League of American Orchestras and the San Francisco Symphony. Additionally, she serves on the Global Council for the Chamber Music Society at Lincoln Center, the board for Music at Menlo, the Advisory Council of Stanford Live, and the Bienen School of Music Advisory Board at Northwestern University.
Sorensen is a former Accenture consulting manager who specialized in change management and systems redesign, and a former hospital administrator at California Pacific Medical Center.
Speaking at New Voices: Composers of Today.
Derrick Spiva Jr. is nationally recognized as a rising star in the classical music world. Based in the Los Angeles area, Spiva is a composer, conductor, musician, and educator who often integrates musical practices from around the world into his work with classical music communities. The Los Angeles Times has described his music as “something to savor” and “enormous fun to listen to.”
In addition to his training in Western classical music, Spiva has extensively studied West African music and dance, Hindustani classical music, Balinese gamelan, Persian classical music, and music from the Balkans. Spiva is deeply invested in fostering creative and effective collaboration between artists of different disciplines and traditions.
The specific details of Spiva's own ancestral heritage are unclear, as an American who descended from enslaved Africans. These questions around his own ancestry and identity have led him to claim and develop an “American" aesthetic that incorporates many cultural influences into his work, reflecting the diverse communities that he belongs to.
Spiva is co-founder of the Code Switch Composers Collective, artistic director of Bridge to Everywhere, the inaugural artist educator for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and music director/conductor for Novae Sinfonia. He has released two album recordings, Prisms, Cycles, Leaps (2015) and American Mirror (2018), on Orenda Records.
His works have been premiered and performed by Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Lyris Quartet, Los Angeles Electric 8, Albany Symphony, Salastina Music Society, and others. Spiva and his wife, ethnomusicologist Kim Nguyen Tran, live in Los Angeles.
Trombone, The MET Orchestra
Speaking at Auditions, Identity and Culture
Weston Sprott enjoys an exciting career that includes orchestral, chamber, and solo performances, as well as numerous educational and outreach efforts. He is a trombonist in New York’s Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, of which he has been a member since 2005. He has been recognized as “an excellent trombonist” with a “sense of style and phrasing [that] takes a backseat to no one”.
Sprott has performed frequently with the Philadelphia Orchestra, held a position with the Zurich Opera/Philharmonia, and has appeared with numerous other major orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Atlanta Symphony, and Oslo Philharmonic. He previously held principal positions with the Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra and the Delaware Symphony Orchestra. His chamber music and festival engagements include the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Fesitval (SICMF), Classical Tahoe, Festival Napa Valley, Walla Chamber Music Festival, Chineke!, PRIZM Ensemble, and numerous others.
As a soloist, Sprott has been featured regularly throughout the United States, Europe, South Africa, and Asia. He made his Carnegie solo debut in 2007 and was a featured soloist with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center is 2017. Sprott’s debut album, Act I, was released in 2010 and hailed by the American Record Guide as “an outstanding recording” that “feels the emotion of every note and phrase”.
A dedicated and tireless teacher, Sprott maintains teaching studios at several New York area institutions. He currently heads the brass department at Mannes College and holds faculty positions at Bard College, Rutgers University, and Juilliard Pre-College. He also regularly serves on the faculties of SICMF, PRIZM, Curtis Institute of Music’s Summerfest, National Youth Orchestra-USA (NYO-USA) and NYO2. He has previously held faculty positions at Juilliard's Music Advancement Program and Purchase College.
He appeared in Ben Niles’ documentary film Some Kind of Spark, which highlights the impact of music education in the lives of students as they attend Juilliard’s Music Advancement Program. Other documentary film credits include A Wayfarer's Journey:Listening to Mahler, and Rittenhouse Square. His thoughts are also quoted in Rhythms of the Game, a book by former New York Yankees star Bernie Williams. He also works with organizations like Play On Philly and Music Kitchen, and has sponsored educational opportunities and solicited instrument donations for disadvantaged students. His philanthropic spirit was recognized in an article by the Wall Street Journal, and he was the recipient of the Atlanta Symphony Talent Development Program Aspire Award. He is the Board Chair of the Friends of SICMF and a member of the Bronx Arts Ensemble’s Artistsic Advisory Board. Weston is an active speaker, writer, and advisor for diversity and inclusion efforts in classical music.
Sprott is an artist/clinician for the Antoine Courtois Instrument Company. He performs exclusively on Courtois trombones and designed and plays the Legend AC421BHW "New Yorker Model" trombone. Performances and interviews with Mr. Sprott have been seen and heard on PBS' Great Performances, NPR's Performance Today, MSNBC, and Sirius Satellite Radio.
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Volunteer, Kansas City Symphony
Speaking at Evolving Models for Leveraging Volunteers.
Linda Sevens has served as a volunteer for major symphony orchestras for over 30 years in three cities; New York City, Seattle, and Kansas City, where she currently resides. She was president of the Seattle Symphony Volunteers for two years, served on the Seattle Symphony Board of Trustees from 2009-15, and chaired several fundraising events for the Seattle Symphony. After moving to Kansas City in 2015, she joined the Kansas City Symphony Volunteer Auxiliary and is currently treasurer of the Kansas City Symphony League’s Ball, which is an annual fundraising event supporting the symphony. Stevens joined the League of American Orchestras Volunteer Council in 2013 and is chairing the Volunteer Council track at this year’s Conference in Nashville. Her professional experience extended over 35 years and included a variety of executive marketing and customer support positions at IBM Corporation in New York and Microsoft Corporation in Seattle. She is now retired and engages in a variety of hobbies including golf, bridge, walking, and travel. Stevens is a member of the Village Presbyterian Church choir and frequently attends performances at the Kansas City Symphony.
Executive Director, Equity in the Center
Speaking at Building a Race Equity Culture.
Kerrien Suarez is executive director of Equity in the Center, a field-wide initiative to influence social sector leaders to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to achieve race equity. A project of ProInspire, EiC envisions a future where nonprofit and philanthropic organizations advance race equity internally while centering it in their work externally. It recently published Awake to Woke to Work: Building a Race Equity Culture, which details management and operational levers that organizations utilize to transform culture.
Her focus on diversity, inclusion, and equity developed through work with Surge Institute, Camelback Ventures, EdFuel, and National Black Child Development Institute, where she supported emerging and established leaders and social entrepreneurs of color.
A management consultant with 20 years of experience, Kerrien led engagements to refine programs and scale impact for national nonprofits, including The First Tee and AARP ExperienceCorps. She also coached grantees of the Annie E. Casey, Wells Fargo, and Robert Wood Johnson foundations on issues ranging from organizational capacity and sustainability to place-based collective impact.
Suarez is a graduate of Harvard College and London School of Economics.
Executive Director, Music Therapy Gateway In Communications, Inc.
Hear more from Martha at Check This Out!
Martha Summa-Chadwick, DMA, is a concert pianist, educator, researcher, and advocate for the use of music in therapy. Her degrees include a Bachelor of Music from the Hartt School of Music, Master of Music from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Kansas. She has also completed basic and advanced level training in neurologic music therapy from Colorado State University’s Center for Biomedical Research in Music.
Summa-Chadwick has performed in roles of piano and harpsichord soloist with orchestras in New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, and Alabama. She is on the faculty of the Cadek Conservatory in Chattanooga, TN, where she teaches both neurotypical students and also persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She is a frequent speaker advocating for music in therapy at international, national, and state conferences for organizations including Music Teacher’s National Association, American Music Therapy Association, Society for Music Perception and Cognition, National Association for Music Education, and the Tennessee Arts Commission.
In her role as founder and executive director of the nonprofit organization Music Therapy Gateway In Communications, Inc., she established the “Chamber Music for Body and Soul” performance project to advocate for music in therapy by means of a unique performance series. The concert series includes solo and chamber performances incorporating pre-concert lectures and highlighting works by composers who had neural challenges as well as upbeat compositions. The upbeat works encourage the audience to experience the natural inclination of their muscles to move to the music.
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Founder & CEO, Robert Swaney Consulting
A highly sought-after authority on fundraising growth for arts and cultural organizations, Bob Swaney has developed systems and solutions recognized now as industry standards for excellence.
Developed during 30-year career in fundraising, Swaney's hallmark lies in helping organizations develop sustainable high-leverage, high-return fundraising programs that are strategic, growth-oriented, and donor-focused. His simple yet systematic approach is highly effective in virtually any size market and for any size institution. Since 2006, Swaney has successfully shared his system with dozens of organizations across the country to strengthen their philanthropic core. These partnerships include many top-tier orchestras and opera companies, along with one of the world’s leading performing arts schools.
As founder and CEO of RSC, Swaney has assembled and leads an extraordinary team of consultants and support professionals who coach clients using his annual fund growth system. Careful planning and execution strategies—based on a combination of momentum, velocity, and leverage—are used to deliver predictably high-return contributed financial growth. Above all, Swaney and his team coach organizations to achieve this growth regardless of community, organization, or economic conditions.
Prior to launching RSC, Swaney worked on the staff of several of the country's top-tier orchestras, including Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis, where he gained a depth of experience in all forms of fundraising. These opportunities served as the perfect training ground for Swaney to become one of the nation's leading coaches in arts-related philanthropy.
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Principal, Robert Sweibel Arts & Culture Consulting
Robert Sweibel Arts & Culture Consulting is a New York City-based, boutique firm that specializes in strategic revenue enhancement, brand development and activation, and leadership cultivation for the arts and culture industry. Principal Robert Sweibel founded the firm in 2016 following 25 years of distinguished service across the arts industry. Recognized as a strategic innovator, team builder, and income generator, Sweibel is sought out by his clients for his hands-on expertise. Recent client work includes inaugural season planning and marketing executive search for the McKnight Center for the Performing Arts in Stillwater Oklahoma, which opens this October with a residency by the New York Philharmonic; executive search and interim leadership for the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra; interim leadership and executive placement for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra; e-commerce website design for the Stratford Festival, the continent’s largest classical repertory theatre; marketing campaign assessment for Playwrights Horizons; and interim leadership for the McCarter Theatre Center, among others.
Sweibel has 30 years’ leadership experience across the performing arts. He ran the marketing division of Broadway’s Roundabout Theatre Company, the nation’s largest nonprofit theatre, with five venues and a $50 million-plus budget. Sweibel has also held senior positions with theater, dance, and music organizations across the United States. Sweibel is a frequent speaker at arts conferences. He delivered the inaugural presentation for the Tessitura Network Innovators Series and the keynote address at the 2013 Intix annual conference. He has served on grant panels for multiple agencies, and several boards of directors. He is a graduate of New York University. An avid sailor, hiker, and camper, Sweibel lives and works in Manhattan.
Composer; Lecturer, Northwestern University
Speaking at New Voices: Composers of Today.
A sound can evoke a time, a place, a cultural moment, or a worldview. Alex Temple (b. 1983) writes music that distorts and combines iconic sounds to create new meanings, often in service of surreal, cryptic, or fantastical stories. She’s particularly interested in reclaiming socially disapproved-of (“cheesy”) sounds, playing with the boundary between funny and frightening, and investigating lost memories and secret histories.
In addition to performing her own works for voice and electronics, she has collaborated with performers and ensembles such as Mellissa Hughes, Timothy Andres, the American Composers Orchestra, Fifth House Ensemble, Cadillac Moon Ensemble, and Spektral Quartet. She has also played keyboards with the chamber-rock group The Sissy-Eared Mollycoddles, and made sounds using her voice, synthesizers, and various household objects with a·pe·ri·od·ic.
Temple got her BA from Yale University in 2005, and her MA from the University of Michigan in 2007. After leaving Ann Arbor, she spent two years in New York working for the New York Youth Symphony’s Making Score program for young composers. She recently completed a DMA at Northwestern University.
Executive Director, Symphony New Hampshire
Marc Thayer joined Symphony NH as executive director in July 2016, and added the position of executive director of the Monteux School and Music Festival in 2018. Previously Thayer was the deputy director of the Association of American Voices (AV), a cultural diplomacy NGO for which he has coordinated arts programming and taught throughout the Middle East, Central and East Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Thayer co-managed the American Music Abroad Program for the US Department of State from 2011-2016 and served as cultural envoy in Liberia in 2014 and 2015. From 2002-2011, Thayer worked as the vice president for education and community partnerships with the St. Louis Symphony. Thayer was the director of strings and on the violin faculty at Washington University in St. Louis and served as artistic producer for the World Chess Hall of Fame Museum. From 2004-2016 Thayer was a violinist with the Kingsbury Baroque Ensemble and taught at the Community Music School of Webster University. In 2016, he taught and coached in the El Sistema program with MusAid in El Salvador. Thayer performed as a member of the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, FL from 1995-1998 and founded their education and community engagement programs, which he managed from 1999-2002. He served as the artistic producer for the Whim Estate Concert Series in St. Croix from 2006-2010 and was on the faculty of the Guadalquivir Festival with the National Symphony Orchestra of Bolivia. He received Bachelors and Masters Degrees from the Eastman School of Music where he studied with William Preucil and Zvi Zeitlin. Thayer is on the Board of Arts for NH, a branch of Americans for the Arts.
Sr. Director of Operations & Orchestra Manager, Nashville Symphony
From an early age, Sonja Thoms knew she wanted a career in an orchestra. She pursued the path of an oboist and had the honor to study with Ray Still and Allan Vogel in high school before continuing on to Eastman School of Music (BM ‘03) and Rice University (MM ‘05) where she studied with Dr. Richard Killmer and Robert Atherholt. After graduating from Rice University, Thoms found an internship in Orchestra Operations with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC and began learning the foundations of orchestra management. Following the internship, Thoms started to work part-time as Operations Assistant for the Pittsburgh Symphony in 2006 and stayed for nine years. During that time, Thoms held the positions of Operations Coordinator, Operations Manager and Director of Operations and Touring. In 2015, Thoms moved to Nashville, Tennessee where she is the Senior Director of Operations and Orchestra Manager at the Nashville Symphony.
Orchestra Operations was never a career Thoms considered or felt she knew about as a student, but that career has proven to be a very rewarding path. In an effort to spread awareness about the many careers in orchestra management, Thoms started a website in 2017 (www.orchestraoperations.com) for students considering career options. Additionally, Thoms continually pursues development of her leadership skills through books, podcasts, seminars, networks and workshops. In 2017-2018, Thoms was chosen to participate in the League of American Orchestras’ Emerging Leaders Program and in Spring 2019 taught a pilot class she created “The Business of Orchestras” at Belmont University in Nashville.
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Time for Three
Speaking at the Closing Plenary
The groundbreaking, category-shattering trio Time for Three (Tf3) transcends traditional classification, with elements of classical, country western, gypsy, and jazz idioms forming a blend all its own. The members—Nicolas (Nick) Kendall, violin; Charles Yang, violin; and Ranaan Meyer, double bass—carry a passion for improvisation, composition, and arrangements, all prime elements of the ensemble’s playing.
To date, the group has performed hundreds of engagements as diverse as its music: from featured guest soloists on the Philadelphia Orchestra’s subscription series, to Club Yoshi’s in San Francisco, to residencies at the Kennedy Center, to Christoph Eschenbach’s birthday concert at the Schleswig-Holstein Festival in Germany. Recent highlights include Carnegie Hall, appearances with the Boston Pops, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Melbourne and Sydney Symphony orchestras, sold-out concerts with the Czech Philharmonic and BBC Proms, and an appearance on the ABC prime time hit show “Dancing with the Stars.” Time for Three traveled throughout Europe as a highlight act of the 2016 NOTP (Night of The Proms) tour.
Tf3’s high-energy performances are free of conventional practices, drawing instead from the members’ unique musical backgrounds. The trio also performs its own arrangements of traditional repertoire and Ranaan Meyer provides original compositions to complement the trio’s offerings.
In 2014, Time for Three released their debut Universal Music Classics album, Time for Three, which spent seven consecutive weeks at the Top 10 of Billboard’s Classical Crossover Chart. The ensemble has also embarked on a major commissioning programs to expand its unique repertoire for symphony orchestras, including Concerto 4-3, written by Pulitzer-Prize winning composer Jennifer Higdon; Travels in Time for Three by Chris Brubeck in 2010, co-commissioned by the Boston Pops, the Youngstown Symphony, and eight other orchestras; and Games and Challenges by William Bolcom, commissioned by the Indianapolis Symphony.
Joel Thompson (b.1988) is an Atlanta composer, conductor, pianist, and educator best known for the choral work, Seven Last Words of the Unarmed, which was premiered November 2015 by the University of Michigan Men’s Glee Club and Dr. Eugene Rogers and won the 2018 American Prize for Choral Composition. Thompson is currently a student at the Yale School of Music. Recently, Thompson was the 2017 post-graduate fellow in Arizona State University’s Ensemble Lab/Projecting All Voices Initiative and a composition fellow at the 2017 Aspen Music Festival and School, where he studied with composers Stephen Hartke and Christopher Theofanidis and won the 2017 Hermitage Prize. Thompson taught at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School in Atlanta, 2015-2017, and also served as director of choral studies and assistant professor of music at Andrew College, 2013-2015. Thompson is a proud Emory alum, graduating with a B.A. in Music in 2010, and an M.M. in Choral Conducting in 2013.
Head of Participate, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Lisa Tregale is a music graduate from the University of York where she studied saxophone and voice. She decided she wanted a musical management career while on a work experience placement with the BBC Symphony Orchestra working on Harrison Birtwistle's Mask of Orpheus education project.
From this Tregale was offered the position of administrator at the Dartington International Summer School (DISS) and became their executive producer in 1998. While as Dartington, Tregale participated fully in the UK and European cultural sectors and was honored with the role of vice president of the conference of promoters of new music and was part of the European Festivals Association New Wave Programme.
In March 2004, Tregale became director of Beaford Arts, a rural arts organisation supporting and rebuilding communities through the arts. In November 2006 Tregale was appointed to create South West Music School, a center for advanced training of exceptionally talented young musicians (ages 8-18) supported by the Department for Education.
Tregale has also held positions such as creative director of the English Brass Academy and chair of Foundations for Excellence, an organisation focused on health and wellbeing in the training of young musicians and dancers. She also works as a freelance performer, workshop leader, and consultant.
Tregale is currently head of BSO Participate. She leads on the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s work Beyond the Concert Hall, working across all area of participation and inclusion from early years to work with older people living with dementia.
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Alan D. Valentine
President & CEO, Nashville Symphony
Alan D. Valentine joined the Nashville Symphony as its president and CEO in June 1998. Since then, he has presided over an unprecedented period of growth at the symphony, highlighted by a total of eleven Grammy Awards and 20 Grammy nominations; 30 highly regarded and best-selling CD releases on the Naxos, Decca, and New West labels; a total of nine national television broadcasts, one of which won an Emmy Award; multiple national radio appearances, including the internationally syndicated radio series American Encores; a critically acclaimed Carnegie Hall debut and sold-out East Coast tour in September 2000; two consecutive and very successful capital and endowment campaigns in which a total of $145 million was raised; and the construction of the world-class, acoustically superb Schermerhorn Symphony Center, which opened in September 2006.
Valentine currently serves on the steering committee for Nashville's Agenda. He is a former member of the boards of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (Nashville Chapter), the Nashville Chamber of Commerce, the Nashville Arts Coalition, the Association of Non-Profit Executives, Center for Nonprofit Management, Nashville Downtown Partnership, and the Nashville City Club.
President & CEO, Toledo Symphony Orchestra
Speaking at Fostering Culture of Philanthropy – It’s Not Just about Fundraising! a Development Constituency Meeting
Prior to becoming President & CEO of the Toledo Symphony in July 2016, Zak Vassar had a successful career as a marketing consultant. He worked for several marketing firms in the Boston area, focusing upon strategic market research. At MaPS, Observant LLC, and Fulcrum Research Group, he developed and implemented advanced quantitative and qualitative research methods. He then moved to Toledo-based Communica, where he developed the firm’s Research & Analytics department.
Vassar has consulted with clients in a variety of industries, including the performing arts, consumer package goods, retail, computer hardware/software, personal finance, telecommunications, consumer electronics, and health care. His clients span the Fortune 100 as well as nonprofit and startups alike.
Vassar always has held an active passion for classical music. He has attended hundreds of classical performances across the globe and maintains a collection of more than 2,000 classical recordings. He is enthusiastic about his position at the Toledo Symphony, as it unites his personal interest in arts with his professional capabilities in marketing, innovation, and leadership. In his tenure at the TSO, the organization has seen a strong uptick in audience development, patron engagement, fundraising, and educational outreach.
Vassar, 39, is a graduate of St. John’s Jesuit High School and studied management and music history at Boston College.
Composer, Conductor, Rhodes College
Speaking at New Voices: Orchestra Composers of Today
The music of Evan Williams has been performed and commissioned by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra, Quince Ensemble, and by members of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Seattle Symphony, the International Contemporary Ensemble, and Fifth House Ensemble. He has received performances at festivals such as RED NOTE, the New Music Gathering, SEAMUS, the Electroacoustic Barn Dance, and the New York City Electronic Music Festival. His work can be found on recordings by The Namaste Ensemble’s “No Borders Quartet” and Levels. Williams has received a number of awards and honors, including serving as the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s inaugural Classical Roots Composer-in-Residence in 2018. Williams holds a DMA in Composition with a cognate in Orchestral Conducting from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, where he served as a teaching assistant in electronic music. He also holds degrees from Bowling Green State University and Lawrence University. As a conductor, Williams leads the Rhodes College Orchestra, and has led performances with the Lawrence University Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble, numerous chamber ensembles, and members of the International Contemporary Ensemble. He also trained at the Bard Conductors Institute and the Band Conducting and Pedagogy Clinic at the University of Michigan. Williams serves as assistant professor of music and director of instrumental activities at Rhodes College, where he teaches composition and music technology, and leads the Rhodes Orchestra. He previously held teaching positions at Lawrence University, Bennington College, and at the Walden School.
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President, Conductors Guild, Inc.
Dr. Julius Williams is an award-winning conductor, composer, recording artist, educator, author, and pianist. His career has taken him from his native New York to musical venues around the globe and has included virtually every musical genre. Williams has conducted ensembles at Carnegie Hall and performances with orchestras in Dallas, New Haven, Savannah, Hartford, Sacramento, Tulsa, Knoxville, Oklahoma, Vermont, and Akron, as well as with the Harlem Symphony, Armor Artist Chamber Orchestra, Connecticut Opera, and Kalistos Chamber Orchestra, in Boston.
From 1998 – 2003, Williams was music director of the Washington Symphony, the official orchestra of Washington, DC., and conducted performances for the 30th anniversary of the Peoples Republic of China at Constitution Hall, Washington DC. Williams also served as artistic director of the Music Festival of Costa del Sol, Spain and as artistic director of the School of Choral Studies at the New York State Summer School for the Arts for ten seasons, as well as the Tri-C Jazz Festival concert series in Cleveland Ohio, where he opened the season with a powerful performance of Duke Ellington’s “Sacred Service.”
A prolific composer, Williams has created works for numerous genres of contemporary classical performances, including opera, ballet, orchestra, chamber ensemble, chorus and solo voice, dance, musical theater, and film. His music has been performed by symphony orchestras and chamber ensembles around the globe. His “Norman Overture” was premiered by the New York Philharmonic, conducted by Zubin Mehta. The opera “Guinevere” was performed at the Aspen Music Festival and at Dubrovnik Music Festival in Croatia. He was composer of the score for the film “What Color is Love?” and he scored the theatrical production to “In Dahomey.”
Williams’ discography includes the critically-acclaimed “Symphonic Brotherhood,” a collection of African-American symphonic music; “Shades of Blue,” “The New American Romanticism,” Somewhere Far Away, Places in Time, The American Soloist, and Midnight Tolls, all available on the Albany Records label. In 2016-17, Williams had two new orchestral recordings—“Moments of Arrival” on Centaur Records and “The Bird That Wants to Fly,” a children’s opera on Naxos/Roven Records. His recordings are on the Albany, Centaur, Naxos, and Videmus record labels.
Williams is currently artistic director and conductor of the Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra in Boston; music director and conductor of the Trilogy: An Opera Company in New Jersey; a composer with the Boston Symphony Orchestra “Composer-in-Residence Project” and serves as a cover (understudy) conductor to the Boston Pops Orchestra. In January 2019, he became president of the board of directors of the 1,200-member International Conductors Guild.
Dennie Palmer Wolf
Principal Researcher, WolfBrown
Speaking at The Futures Fund Forum
Dennie Wolf is a Principal Researcher at WolfBrown, an international consulting firm specializing in cultural planning. Wolf focuses on the design, implementation, evaluation and research that help communities examine and improve how wider publics gain access to learning, culture and creativity, in and outside of formal institutions.
Wolf holds her doctorate from Harvard where she trained in developmental psychology and served as a researcher at Harvard Project Zero for more than a decade. Over the last four decades, Wolf worked with a number of city-wide and regional consortia to build systemic public efforts designed to support increased access to culture and creativity. Most recently, Wolf has been a thought partner to multiple cultural organizations, ranging from orchestras to museums, working at the intersection of the arts, social justice, and community development. Currently, Wolf collaborates on the design and evaluation of the League’s Future Fund Initiative. Wolf has published widely on issues of the place or artistry and imagination in human development.
Volunteer, Former Morgan Stanley Advisor
Speaking at Check This Out!
In his years at the investment firm of Morgan Stanley, Steve Yellen was honored to serve as a member of the VIP committee under the umbrella of the Morgan Stanley Foundation. Yellen is passionate in creating new fundraising models combining the big money of Wall Street and capital-raising ideas with municipal orchestras, athletic programs, and nonprofits in all cities across the country using the cutting-edge technology now available married to old school hard work. He is president of Non Profit Athletes United for Peace, a United Nations sponsored organization whose mission is to incubate leadership and basketball skills programs in low-income urban neighborhoods.
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President, American Composers Orchestra
Edward Yim is President of American Composers Orchestra, an orchestra dedicated to the discovery, promotion and celebration of American symphonic music. Deeply committed to contemporary music and composers, he previously held senior artistic planning positions with organizations such as the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York City Opera and the Cleveland Orchestra.
In addition, Yim was Senior Vice-President and Director of the Conductor and Instrumentalists Division at IMG Artists where he personally managed a roster of composers and conductors.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Edward Yim holds an AB in Government from Harvard College and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University. Mr. Yim is a graduate of the League of American Orchestra’s Management Fellowship Program. He has served on the boards of New Music USA and the International Contemporary Ensemble, and also consults to Music Accord, a consortium of presenters which commissions contemporary chamber music for American artists.
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Senior Program Officer, The Wallace Foundation
Christine Yoon joined the The Wallace Foundation in November 2013 as a program officer in arts, and was named senior program officer in November 2017. She brings to the role experience in philanthropy, nonprofit arts administration, and for-profit business development. Yoon served for six years as manager of philanthropy at American Express, where she focused on two funding priorities: developing emerging nonprofit leaders and preserving historic places. She was also the assistant to the chief financial and administrative officer at the New York Philharmonic, and served in a variety of strategic marketing and business development roles on the business side of American Express. Yoon holds a B.S. in economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an M.A. in performing arts administration from the Steinhardt School at New York University, and she is an alumna of Coro’s Leadership New York program.
President and CEO, YMG Enterprises, LLC
Through his experience at the intersection of marketplace excellence, organizational development, and servant leadership, Derek Young, also known as DY, understands what leaders face every day. Since 1987, he has prepared and inspired hundreds of thousands of leaders to transform their corporate culture. He has conducted more than 5,000 speaking, coaching, training, and consulting engagements for more than 500 corporate, private, government, education, nonprofit, and religious teams from more than 40 industries. During that time, he has built a proprietary catalog of more than 50 culture programs and keynotes in the areas of leadership development, performance management, sales and service, strategic planning, executive presence, and diversity and inclusion. His diverse client roster includes industry leaders and household names such as AT&T, BMI, CAT Financial, Catholic Charities, Dana, Eli Lilly, Firestone, Gaylord, Habitat for Humanity, HCA, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, National Restaurant Association, Nissan, Prudential, the US Department of Agriculture, Tractor Supply, and Vanderbilt University. Led by the motto, God First, Others Second and Dreams Third, his calling is to help individuals and organizations move from good—to great—to legendary performance. Young holds a rare distinction as the founding leader of two key functions for two Nashville-area Fortune 1000 headquarters. He was the first head of diversity and community outreach for Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores and the first director of community initiatives (along with leadership development) for Dollar General Corporation. Prior to those roles, he gained a strong foundation in strategic thinking, business analysis, and performance management as an internal auditor and economic research analyst for the Federal Reserve Bank, a communications analyst for Sprint Global Headquarters, and a career development manager for INROADS. Among his volunteer leadership roles with organizations such as March of Dimes, 100 Black Men, Girl Scouts, and the YMCA, Young also served as a board member and as the first community engagement chairman for the Nashville Symphony. To learn more about Young, visit, www.derekyoungspeaks.com.
Associate Principal Viola, New York Philharmonic
2019 Ford Musician Awardee
Speaking at Musicians Transforming Communities
Rebecca Young joined the New York Philharmonic in 1986 as its youngest member. In 1991 she won the position of Associate Principal Viola. Two months later she was named principal viola of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. After spending the 1992–93 season in Boston and two summers at Tanglewood, she ultimately decided to return to her family in New York, resuming her Associate Principal position with the Philharmonic in September 1994. She can currently be seen leading the viola section of the All-Star Orchestra, a popular televised educational series about classical music. An avid chamber musician, Ms. Young has performed with many renowned groups, including the Boston Chamber Music Society, Boston Symphony Chamber Players, New York Philharmonic Ensembles, and The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. She can be heard in a recording of Schubert’s Trout Quintet with cellist Yo-Yo Ma, pianist Emanuel Ax, violinist Pamela Frank, and bass player Edgar Meyer on the Sony Classical label. In the spring of 1999 Ms. Young joined Philharmonic Principal Viola Cynthia Phelps in the World Premiere of Sofia Gubaidulina’s Two Paths: Music for Two Solo Violas and Symphony Orchestra with the Philharmonic. The work was commissioned for them by Tomoko Masur, wife of Philharmonic Music Director Emeritus Kurt Masur and herself a former violist. The two performed it at Avery Fisher Hall, in Washington, D.C., and again during the Orchestra’s subsequent tour of the Canary Islands, Spain, and Portugal, as well as the Europe 2000 Tour, and again in April 2011, at Avery Fisher Hall. Ms. Young is a graduate of The Juilliard School. Ms. Young was first introduced to music at the age of two when her parents took her to the New York Philharmonic’s Young People’s Concerts led by Leonard Bernstein. Today, she is the host of the Philharmonic’s popular Very Young Peoples Concerts, intimate chamber music concerts where she has tap-danced, played drums, ridden a scooter around the stage, and even sung Gilbert & Sullivan. Her philosophy is less to educate than, as she puts it, “to make the audiences have so much fun they want to come back!”