Education profiles

Education positions are director and manager levels, and may include responsibilities with your orchestras, community based and/or in-school programs

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Ayden Adler

Director, Education and Community Partnerships
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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Years in current position: 1
Years in the field: 15

Majors:
A.B. Comparative Religion with music minor, Princeton University
M.M. Horn, Julliard School
M.A. Musicology, Eastman School of Music
D.M.A., Horn, Eastman School of Music
Ph.D. Musicology, Eastman School of Music

Additional Training:
Finance course

Career Path:
Horn player; Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra
Professor of Horn and Arts Leadership classes, Eastman School of Music
Members Committee, Negotiating Committee, Education Committee, RPO

What are the most surprising, interesting or challenging aspects of your day-to-day work?
I love how my work in education and community partnerships is so varied—tasks include work with government officials, concerned parents, educators, funders, donors, students, musicians, etc., etc.!

What inspired you to work for an orchestra?
I have always been passionate about music, equitable access to quality education, and giving back to my community. My first love was performance and my second was management—I’m very fortunate to have been able to pursue both at a high level. 

What advice would you offer to someone considering the orchestra field?
Get a strong liberal arts education that teaches you how to think and write, develop a strong work ethic, and remain committed to lifelong learning. Then you can follow your passions in life—even if those change.

Any other advice?
Having mentors and strong networking connections are also very important.

Jamie Allen

Education Director
Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Dallas, Texas
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Years in current position: 2
Years in the field: 18

Majors:
Music (composition)

Career Path:
Freelance composer and accompanist in Los Angeles for four years
Tour Manager, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival 
Music Critic, Santa Fe New Mexican and other publications
Music Specialist, Rio Grande School and others 
Adjunct Professor of Music, The College of Santa Fe 
Children’s Chorus Director and Teaching Artist, Santa Fe Opera
Adjunct Professor of Music, Collin County Community College

What are the most surprising, interesting or challenging aspects of your day-to-day work?
Challenging: Working with budgets and having to fulfill marketing needs with educational programming  Interesting: Concert programming and production.

What inspired you to work for an orchestra?
My love of music and my passion for education, and the opportunity to do the kind of work I’d done in the past, but all under the umbrella of one organization instead of twelve.

What would you do differently?
I started out wanting to score films in Los Angeles. This was a mistake, but I learned a lot about myself in the process. If I began again, I would develop my performance chops to a higher level and study the repertoire more deeply.

What advice would you offer to someone considering the orchestra field?

Study the repertoire. Hone your time management skills. Be able to think like a kid, while still presenting yourself professionally. Be prepared to clearly but diplomatically communicate with many different kinds of people from many different backgrounds.

Any other advice?
Take an accounting class.

Carol U. Baker

Director of Education
Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
Indianapolis, Indiana
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Years in current position: 8
Years in the field: 8

Majors:
Bachelor’s of Music Education, French minor
Pursuing Master’s in Non-Profit Management through Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Additional Training:
Essentials of Orchestra Management, League of American Orchestras
American Orff Schulwerk Association workshops
Various leadership development seminars

Career Path:

Music Teacher (K-8, parochial school)
Director of Volunteer and Audience Relations (regional theatre company)  Church/Temple Musician (various religious settings)
Opera Chorus (various opera companies)

What are the most surprising, interesting or challenging aspects of your day-to-day work?
Working with so many different constituents through the promotion of symphonic music. I really enjoy building bridges between the orchestra and the communities we serve.

What inspired you to work for an orchestra?
This was the perfect marriage of two passions: music education and arts administration.  In my job I’m able to build bridges through appreciation and understanding from both the orchestra’s perspective and the audience’s perspective.

What was your first step when beginning your working career?
The first step to finding my career path was to be open to new experiences and not be afraid of putting myself out there. 

What advice would you offer to someone considering the orchestra field?

Do this because you love it.  It’s not like regular jobs—you must be willing to put your heart and soul into the work. But you also have to know when to step aside and refresh your spirit so you don’t get burned out.

Any other advice?
I would ask someone who is interested in entering the orchestra management field, “What are you willing to do to ensure that live great symphonic music is thriving in your community?” Whether a piece was written today or two centuries ago, the music is relevant to the “everyman” experience. Love, regret, passion, devotion, nationalism, pride, anger, etc. are all expressed through symphonic music. It’s real and it’s alive. Our job is to translate our “product” to the “everyman” and ensure that our art form thrives in this volatile economy.

Jennifer Barnett

Director of Education and Community Partnerships
Knoxville Symphony Orchestra
Knoxville, Tennessee
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Years in current position: 5
Years in the field: 5

Majors:

B.A. Music (emphasis on voice and coursework completed for music education)
M.M. Voice

Additional Training:
I learned a great deal from the Orchestra Leadership Academy sessions just prior to League of American Orchestras National Conferences.

Career Path:
Education and Office Assistant, Knoxville Symphony
Director of Education and Outreach, Knoxville Symphony

What are the most surprising, interesting or challenging aspects of your day-to-day work?

The most challenging aspect has been the creation of our music and wellness program, without having training in the healthcare field. Education departments do so much in the community that the job changes constantly and you must be flexible and creative and inspire your musicians to be as well, so that the orchestra can become a vibrant part of any community. I find that we gain so much from touching individual people’s lives.

What inspired you to work for an orchestra?

I actually auditioned for and received a position in the Knoxville Opera Chorus and decided to move to Knoxville. The job with the orchestra opened and through it I have discovered a career that lets me use my passions for music and education in a way that is just enough removed from my area of expertise (opera) so as to avoid burn-out!

What advice would you offer to someone considering the orchestra field?

I think it is invaluable to hold a performance degree in your instrument. This validates you to musicians when working with them in the field. I would not recommend an administrative degree, but would recommend arts administration classes and perhaps a business class to be better able to understand budgeting and accounting. Several administrators that I greatly respect have emerged from the League’s preparatory program for executive directors.

Any other advice?
I think that as with any other work, you must first have or discover a passion for the field. It can be an exhausting and thankless job and requires a person who gets intrinsic satisfaction from working for the greater good and to promote classical music.

Kara Benton

Director of Education and Community Engagement
Stockton Symphony
Stockton, California
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stockton symphony

Time in current position: 5 months
Time in the field: Less than 1 year

Majors:
B.A. Music (vocal performance emphasis), minor in psychology
Completing M.A. in Music Therapy

Additional Training:
Board-certified Music Therapist
Being a Music Therapist has been extremely beneficial in helping me to plan educational programming. Music therapy is all about using music to achieve non-music goals, so I’m able to help design programs that can give the schools a really valuable music experience.

Career Path:
Other than a few retail jobs to get me through school, I’ve been a Music Therapist. I worked at a psychiatric facility, a children’s home and a veteran’s home.

What are the most surprising, interesting or challenging aspects of your day-to-day work?
The most surprising thing for me is that all the contacts I’ve made through my previous job in retail, as well as through the local university that I currently attend, have really come in handy. You never know who might be a good resource, and never forget that you may turn out to be a good resource for them in return. It’s all about helping each other out in this business, I think.

What inspired you to work for an orchestra?
I hadn’t really ever thought about working for an orchestra before the job was offered to me. I knew people who worked here and when the job of Grant Writer was offered, I thought it was a good way to at least be working in the area of music. After a couple of months they needed an education coordinator, so I decided to take on that role. I just sort of fell into it, but I’m loving it. I’m learning a lot and meeting some great people and still fulfilling my desire to use music to inspire people.

What advice would you offer to someone considering the orchestra field?
Make as many contacts as you can. Be aware of the politics going on around you, because they play a huge part in how well you’ll be able to get your programs out there.  Make yourself aware of the visual and performing arts standards (or whatever they are called in your state) and also be aware of the education standards in each subject for each grade your programs are targeting. You want to be able to tell teachers and administrators that you are aware of what they are trying to do and that your programs can help them meet those goals. Also, take a few classes on data collection; they will come in quite handy.

Any other advice?
It’s always a learning process. As soon as you feel you’ve got it figured out, something will change. It’s okay to be unsure, just don’t let it stop you from trying. And never be afraid to ask your colleagues for advice.

Barbara H. Burger

Marketing Director/Education Coordinator
Santa Barbara Symphony
Santa Barbara, California
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Years in current position: 24
Years in the field: 28

Majors:
B.A. Sociology/Anthropology
M.A. Public Service Management

Additional Training:
Attended nearly every Association of California Orchestra Conference and several League of American Orchestras National Conferences, plus marketing workshops in the Santa Barbara area

Career Path:
Public Relations and Marketing
Information and Referral Professional, Bucks County, Pennsylvania
Community Relations Coordinator, St. Francis Hospital, Santa Barbara

What are the most surprising, interesting or challenging aspects of your day-to-day work?
Every day is a creative day. Whether it be putting together marketing plans, creating ads or scripts, or negotiating contracts, it’s all interesting. The challenge over these 24 years has been to handle all the demands of marketing an orchestra, handling the public relations, coordinating the Santa Barbara Symphony’s education programs, selling ads and creating the concert books.

What inspired you to work for an orchestra?
I have loved classical music since I was young. It was a natural to take my public relations skills to this field. I love all aspects of working for a symphony, including the social parts.

Would you have done anything differently?
I would have majored in communications if that had been a degree offered at Eastern University.

What advice would you offer to someone considering the orchestra field?
Work as an apprentice or an intern under a professional in the field. There are so very many things to learn and it would be helpful to learn from someone who is already skilled. Take as many courses or workshops as possible to keep up your skills and to learn more about the city or town that you are working in. Get involved with other organizations in your city or town and serve on their boards. Network every chance you can.

Any other advice?
If possible, take the training offered by the League.

Kristin Carpenter

Youth Programs Coordinator
Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Dallas, Texas
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Kristin Carpenter

Years in current position: 3
Years in the field: 6

Majors:
B.A. Music Business from New Mexico State University
M.A. in Music Education from Texas Woman’s University

Career Path:
Assistant Horn, Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra
Private Horn instructor
Education Intern, Winston-Salem Symphony
Patron Services, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra

What are the most surprising, interesting or challenging aspects of your day-to-day work?
I work with teachers August-April and I love interacting with them. They definitely make my work day more interesting and I find the more you are able to accommodate their students and take the time to listen to them and get to know them on a personal level, the more they respect you and your organization.

What inspired you to work for an orchestra?
When I was Assistant Horn of the Las Cruces (NM) Symphony Orchestra I absolutely loved it! After playing a children’s concert, I thought it was such a terrific and rewarding experience to see children so excited about music. Oftentimes before concerts I would work the instrument petting zoo tables and teach children about the horn and trumpet. Before I graduated with my B.M., I was required to do an internship to complete my degree and decided that I wanted to be a part of planning children’s concerts and other educational events.

What were your first steps toward an orchestra career?
The first step in my career was looking for an internship. Eventually, I found a perfect match and was invited to intern at the Winston-Salem Symphony in North Carolina. The next step after graduation was finding a job in the industry, searching the Internet and asking some old colleagues for advice. I found it very hard to get work with a symphony! No one seemed to want to give me the time of day, but I persisted and eventually landed the job I have today. I had to work very, very hard for it. Symphony job openings are very few and far between because this type of work is so specialized.

What advice would you offer to someone considering the orchestra field?
Be prepared for long hours and hard work. You have to have a genuine love for the arts and a passion for education. If you want to go into the orchestra education field, you have to believe that every child is inherently musical and deserves the opportunity to create and experience music, no matter their circumstance. It’s crucial that you be able to make a good, solid case for your education programs, be able to explain why they need to exist and what they’re going to do for your community.

Any other advice?
Arts education is a very rewarding field. You’re around great music, great kids, and great musicians. Be prepared to do more than the duties in your job description! Everyone chips in to make a non-profit organization run smoothly.

Jill Case

Community Partnership Coordinator
Fort Wayne Philharmonic
Fort Wayne, Indiana
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FWayne

Years in current position: Less than 1
Years in the field: Less than 1

Majors:
English

Additional Training:
Qualified Administrator of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

Career Path:
Editor, Insurance Company 
Copywriter: Sears; Gerbig, Snell/Weisheimer; Fekete and Co.
Freelance Copywriting/PR: Spiegal, National Safety Council, Encyclopedia Britannica, Enesco Corp., Baxter Healthcare, other ad agencies

What are the most surprising, interesting or challenging aspects of your day-to-day work?
The most interesting part, surprisingly enough (because I’m not a small-town person) has been how much I’ve enjoyed going into these small towns and meeting all the people who help us with the concerts we do outside of Fort Wayne.

What inspired you to work for an orchestra?
I love music! Although I only play the piano myself, I enjoy music and appreciate the benefits that it brings to communities.

Would you do anything differently?

I fell into advertising, and I loved it. I don’t know if I would have done anything differently because it all worked out pretty well.
 

Steve Collins

Education Director
New Haven Symphony Orchestra
New Haven, Connecticut
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Years in current position: 5
Years in the field: 5

Majors:
Music Performance, Percussion

Career Path:
Freelance musician, teacher, clinician, 1990-present
Project Manager; Collins Construction Company

What are the most surprising, interesting or challenging aspects of your day-to-day work?
Program design and implementation is very interesting and affords opportunities to use many skills, and creativity. Working in the current fund-raising climate is very challenging.

What inspired you to work for an orchestra?

Love of the art form, music in general, orchestral traditions, and education.

What advice would you offer to someone considering the orchestra field?
Network, and do not limit yourself to a specific area(s) of orchestra management.

Any other advice?
Thoroughly research the total compensation package, job responsibilities, and future growth potential of the industry in general and any specific potential employers.

Tanya Derksen

Education and Outreach Manager
Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
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Years in current position: 2
Years in the field: 8

Majors:
Music, Piano

Additional Training:
Arts and Cultural Management Certificate program coursework, University of Winnipeg
Career Path:
Piano/Theory Instructor
Piano Accompanist
Executive Assistant, Manitoba Audio Recording Industry Association

What are the most surprising, interesting or challenging aspects of your day-to-day work?
The creative aspect of putting on programs and working with local community partners.

What inspired you to work for an orchestra?
The magnitude and impact of the organization.

What steps did you take towards an orchestra career?
Networking, networking, networking—it’s the best way to get your foot in the door.

What advice would you offer to someone considering the orchestra field?
Make sure you want to work in this field. It’s important to enjoy the work because there are few other perks.

Any other advice?
If you are passionate about it and finds way to keep balance in your life (i.e. don’t get burned out), it can be very rewarding.

Jenny Graham Zimmerman

Academy Director
Des Moines Symphony
Des Moines, Iowa
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des moines symph

Years in current position: 3
Years in the field: 8

Majors:
Music Education

Additional Training:
Method-specific pedagogy training

Career Path:
Assistant Director and Group Piano Teacher, Keyboard West Studios
Bassoon and Piano teacher, Rieman Music
Bassoon teacher and chamber music coach (current)

What are the most surprising, interesting or challenging aspects of your day-to-day work?
Creating new music education programs, building relationships with local musicians and teachers, collaborating on special projects.

What inspired you to work for an orchestra?
The opportunity to create quality music education programs that have an impact in our community.

What were the first steps in your professional career?
I went to school to become a band director, instead choosing to teach at an independent music studio. The opportunities in the orchestra world only became apparent to me when I applied for this unique position. If I had known more about jobs in arts administration, I may have sought out training in non-profit finance, etc.

What advice would you offer to someone considering the orchestra field?
Be open to the possibilities and learn as much as you can about many aspects of this field (orchestral music, education, performance, management, development, production, and more).

Any other advice?
A wealth of knowledge in many areas will make you adaptable to a changing and exciting environment.
 

Beverly Hawkins

Education Manager
Utah Symphony
Salt Lake City, Utah
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Utah opera and symphony

Years in current position: 4
Years in the field: 16

Majors:
Music
Additional Training:
Private piano teacher; piano pedagogy classes
Arts Administration seminar, Wisconsin Conservatory of Music 
Master’s of Public Adminsitration coursework, University of Utah

Career Path:
Seattle Symphony: Development Assistant, Group  Sales Manager, Education Coordinator, Operations Manager
Memphis Symphony: Librarian, Interim Operations Director

What are the most surprising, interesting or challenging aspects of your day-to-day work?
Challenging: The perennial problem of limited staff being asked to do too much.   Interesting: I have always appreciated the incredible amount of autonomy I have had in my work with orchestras. I especially enjoy the times when I get to be creative—writing teacher materials, creating and leading teacher workshops, or training volunteers about their education presentations.

What inspired you to work for an orchestra?
I volunteered with Wisconsin Women in the Arts in the mid- to late-’70s and discovered that I really enjoyed concert production. When I moved to Seattle, I only looked for jobs in the performing arts and was fortunate that the Seattle Symphony had an opening.

What advice would you offer to someone considering the orchestra field?
Consider whether you would rather work for a company that produces its own concerts, a presenting organization, or a support organization. If you can narrow that down, select the organization for which you would most want to work. If you know what department you’re most interested in (e.g., operations, development, marketing) contact that director and ask if there is a specific project you could volunteer to take on. Signing on to the generic volunteer corps will be less likely to single you out or bring you to anyone’s attention very quickly. But taking on a specific project with clear time requirements is a good way to show your initiative and ability to follow through. One or two more of those and you’ll likely be at the top of their list when the next position opens up.

Any other advice?
My experience has been that there is a lot of promotion from within in the performing arts. So if you think you want to work for a particular organization, even if your dream job isn’t currently open, consider applying for other positions you know you could do well. I have one other thought about applying for other positions with your current employer: Approach your internal application as fully, thoughtfully, and formally as you would if you were an external applicant. And be sure your current employer gives you the same courtesy instead of treating your application more casually than others. 

Katherine Ho

Associate Director of Education and Community Engagement
The Orchestras of Pasadena (Pasadena Symphony Association)
Pasadena, California
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Years in current position: 1
Years in the field: 5

Majors:
B.M. French Horn Performance
B.A. Sociology
M.A. Performing Arts Administration (NYU)

Additional Training:
Essentials of Orchestra Management, League of American Orchestras

Career Path:
Education Intern/Assistant to the Director of Education, League of American Orchestras Intern and Advertising Assistant, Symphony Magazine
Special Events Intern, New York Philharmonic
PR and Publications Associate, Pacific Symphony

What are the most surprising, interesting or challenging aspects of your day-to-day work?

I think the most challenging part of my work is juggling multiple programs (education/community engagement). Time management is crucial, as well as keeping a constant reminder of why we do what we do and how important it is to the community. It gives me the greatest feeling when I am actually able put into practice the advice from others in the field that has helped me get where I am today.

What inspired you to work for an orchestra?
I discovered during my undergraduate training that I really did not want to make music performance my profession. Although I loved teaching young students and am very passionate about music education, I really did not see myself as a young ensemble or orchestra director/teacher. Shortly after college. I started to research what other possible professions could be out there for me and stumbled upon information for an arts administration master’s (which I did not know existed) and an internship in music education with the Pasadena Symphony. After that season I knew that I wanted to work with orchestras.

What was the first step you took toward a career in orchestras?
The first step was figuring out where I wanted to be after grad school in New York and that was easy! California! Though many people told me that I might limit my job opportunities by narrowing down a geographic location, it is where I wanted to be for my personal life/growth. In the two years I have been back working with California orchestras I’ve gone through the opening of a new concert hall (with the Pacific Symphony) and the acquisition and organizational transition of two separate orchestra entities at The Orchestras of Pasadena.

What advice would you offer to someone considering the orchestra field?
I would be honest and say that a career in orchestra management sometimes means long-hours with office work as well as concert duties. However, when you see that students are benefiting from the education programs that you’ve worked hard to coordinate—that makes it worthwhile. When you get to be backstage making sure your favorite musician/artist of all time gets to his/her interview on time—that makes everything worthwhile. My advice is to always keep reminders for yourself of why you do what you do.

Any other advice?
What I’ve found is that the orchestra field, though quite large, can feel as close as family!  There are always people in the field who are willing to speak to you about their experiences, so if you are interested in a certain department or the field in general, I’d encourage you to reach out, ask questions, and even volunteer/intern as early as possible—just to see how things run and to find out if it is right for you.

Michelle A. Kaebisch

Education Director
Madison Symphony Orchestra
Madison, Wisconsin
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Years in current position: 2
Years in the field: 2

Majors:
B.S. Instrumental Music Education

Additional Training:
National Performing Arts Convention and the League of American Orchestras, plus teacher workshops and conventions

Career Path:
I taught elementary and high school orchestra classes for almost twelve years. I also have been a violinist with the Madison Symphony Orchestra since 1993. Through both of these positions, I became very familiar with the educational and community engagement programs that the MSO had to offer.

What are the most surprising, interesting or challenging aspects of your day-to-day work?
Being so steeped in the world of public school education and coming into an administrative position, there were skills that I wasn’t using day-to-day in the classroom that I suddenly needed to develop. It was a huge learning curve! Also, my point of view on educational programing stems from my public school teaching experience, so I often find myself needing to explain why I am planning/doing a project a certain way and not the way it had been done in the past. Although, this is lessening.

What inspired you to work for an orchestra?
Having the teaching experience and playing in the orchestra really made this position seem like a natural next step. There are opportunities available in working for an orchestra that were not available to me through the public school.

What advice would you offer to someone considering the orchestra field?

If you love classical music and working with people from all walks of life, you’ll probably enjoy working in orchestra management. For the Education Director position, having public school teaching experience does help in speaking the same language as the educators for whom you are preparing youth concert programming and educational materials. Being familiar with local, state, and national music education standards is also very important.

Any other advice?
It’s hard work, but very rewarding. There are excellent networking opportunities available and you’ll potentially be connected to people all over the country and all over the world.

Jungho Kim

Associate Conductor/Education Director
Sioux City Symphony Orchestra
Sioux City, Iowa
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sioux city
Years in current position: 3
Years in the field: 5

Majors:
Violin Performance, College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati  Orchestral Conducting, College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati

Additional Training:
Kurt Mazur Conducting Seminar 
Conductor’s Retreat at Medomak

Career Path:
Graduate Assistant, University of Cincinnati 
Assistant Conductor, Sioux City Symphony 

What are the most surprising, interesting or challenging aspects of your day-to-day work?
How much I don’t know.

What inspired you to work for an orchestra?
Music and great musicians.

Would you have done anything differently?
Finish my D.M.A. before taking the first job.

What advice would you offer to someone considering the orchestra field?
What you know is more important than who you know.

Sherrie Maricle

Director of Education
The New York Pops
New York, New York
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sherrie_maricle.jpg
Years in current position: 5
Years in the field: 18

Majors:

B.A. Music Performance
M.A. Jazz Performance
Ph.D. Composition

Additional Training:
Various seminars in education
Classroom management, being a “leader”

Career Path:
Leader and drummer, The DIVA Jazz Orchestra, Five Play
Drummer and Director of Education, The New York Pops
Director of Percussion Studies, New York University
Numerous masterclasses, conducting, and seminars

What are the most surprising, interesting or challenging aspects of your day-to-day work?
The creativity of children and the complex nature of our teaching artist faculty.

What inspired you to work for an orchestra?

I play with the orchestra and have always loved teaching.

What would you have done differently?
Practice and play more vs. administrating.

What advice would you offer to someone considering the orchestra field?
Know your subject matter well. Be creative and flexible. Let people be and do their best. Foster and expect greatness!

Any other advice?

Treat the musicians with respect.

Steven Murray

Education Manager
Kansas City Symphony
Kansas City, Missouri
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Kansas city symph

Years in current position: 1
Years in the field: 3

Majors:
Music Education, Communication Arts (Electronic Media)

Career Path:
Elementary/Middle School Instrumental Music Teacher
Director of Education/Symphony School, Cedar Rapids Symphony

What are the most surprising, interesting or challenging aspects of your day-to-day work?
The most challenging aspect in my opinion is determining what are the most important efforts to tend to and how to serve the masses on a broad scale.

What inspired you to work for an orchestra?
I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work for the orchestra I grew up listening to, not to mention serve as the director of the school where I took violin lessons as a youth. The opportunity to give back to the organization and field that has given me so much is my inspiration.

Would you do anything differently?
I would have remained in the classroom as a teacher longer than I did. However, opportunities sometimes only come once, and I jumped at the chance.

What advice would you offer to someone considering the orchestra field?
Start small, but don’t be afraid to have large aspirations and dreams. Relationships are so very important and something not taught in the classroom. Good relationships between colleagues, community partners and the like make the world go ’round.

Any other advice?
Be flexible, not rigid; try not to become easily discouraged. There are many challenges, some of which are incorrigible. However, there is always room to make that which is good into something better.

Linda Noble

Associate Director of Education
Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
Indianapolis, Indiana
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Linda_Noble.jpg
Years in current position: 1
Years in the field: 12

Majors:
Music Education

Additional Training:
Orff-Schulwerk and Kodaly Workshop and Levels, Lincoln Center Institute
Kennedy Center Giving Clues Workshop

Career Path:
Education Assistant, Indianapolis Symphony
Education Program Manager, Indianapolis Symphony

What are the most surprising, interesting or challenging aspects of your day-to-day work?
I love working with really dedicated, intelligent colleagues.

What inspired you to work for an orchestra?
Passion to encourage children to develop an interest in classical music.

What was your first step toward an orchestra career?
It was quite by chance. I volunteered to do a specific task and offered to do more. This led to a job offer! Initially it paid really poorly, but it grew into something lucrative.

What advice would you offer to someone considering the orchestra field?

I think we need people with more depth of experience in their jobs, whether it be marketing, education, development, PR, etc. These jobs require much more than the ability to do administrative tasks.

Any other advice?
Put your ego aside. It can be difficult to have people constantly ask you what instrument you play in the orchestra. You must have the confidence to feel accomplished in your role as a staff member.

Tisa Scates

Director of Education
Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra
Irving, Texas
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Las colinas SO

Years in current position: 2

Majors:
Sociology; Business

Career Path:
Two previous non-profit education positions that contributed to the success of my current position

What are the most surprising, interesting or challenging aspects of your day-to-day work?
The most challenging aspect of my job is justifying the importance of music education for every student. With the arts being withdrawn from schools, more and more people feel it is unimportant to learn about them.

What advice would you offer to someone considering the orchestra field?
In this field it is important to think proactively. Always anticipate last-minute changes in plan.

Any other advice?
No two days are alike.

Joanne Winograd

Education and Marketing Manager
New York Pops
New York, New York
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Time in current position: 3 months
Years in the field: 2 (plus 1 year as intern)

Majors:
Economics

Additional Training:
Life-long music instruction and enjoyment
Also, applying to the League’s Orchestra Management Fellowship Program (I was a finalist) helped me solidify my thoughts and goals about a career in Arts Administration. Just writing the essays was helpful, not to mention participating in the finalists’ weekend of interviews.

Career Path:
Marketing Intern, Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival
Public Relations Assistant, Oberlin Conservatory of Music
Education and Office Coordinator, New York Pops

What are the most surprising, interesting or challenging aspects of your day-to-day work?
Working at a smaller organization (five full-time staff) means that I get to have a hand in everything. The best part about my job is that I feel like my voice can be heard and my contributions mean something.

What inspired you to work for an orchestra?
My love for orchestral music coupled with my desire to hold a steady job and use my business-minded brain.

What advice would you offer to someone considering the orchestra field?
Get experience working in the field! Every volunteer opportunity in the arts will help you get to know it better. Talk to people who are starting out, find out what has worked for them. You can’t learn this stuff from a book.

Any other advice?
The pay is unbelievably low, so you really have to want to be there. You will get frustrated by your lack of resources, including time and money. You must be enthusiastic and driven to succeed. But it is the most exciting field there is! You’ll have a hand in real change and feel a part of something you believe in.

 

Theodore Wiprud

Director of Education
New York Philharmonic
New York, New York
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Ted_Wiprud.jpg
Years in current position: 4
Years in the field: 18

Majors:
Undergraduate: Biochemistry and Music, Harvard
Master’s in Composition, Boston University

Career Path:
Unexpected.
Chairman of Music, Walnut Hill School, Natick, Massachusetts (teaching and composing)
Visiting Scholar, Cambridge University, (one-year abroad, study and composing)
Director of Programs, Meet The Composer
Independent composer/consultant (a life built around composing, with consulting work mainly in education and including orchestras) 
Director of Education and Community Engagement, Brooklyn Philharmonic

What are the most surprising, interesting or challenging aspects of your day-to-day work?
The variety of audiences I address—from 2,500-plus kids, to the orchestra itself, to teachers, board members, funders, volunteers, colleagues on staff—each with different understandings (or mis-) of what education is and can be at an orchestra. But all really committed to the vital importance of what we do.

What inspired you to work for an orchestra?
Orchestras are still the largest-scale producers of the music I love, the best platforms for engaging youth and adults in this great tradition. I used to think they were fading in relevance, especially for new music, but now I believe their importance is growing again.

What were your first steps toward an orchestra career?
I began teaching at a performing arts high school partly because of the free afternoons and summers for composing—which turned out to be non-existant. However, I think it was a great place to start—actual teaching—for what I have found my way into.

What advice would you offer to someone considering the orchestra field?

It’s quite different now that there are advanced degrees in arts administration with any number of sub-specializations. And yet I think it’s much the same—you learn by doing, whether in a degree program or not. I benefited a lot at several points from talking with people who were doing what I might like to do. People in this field are amazingly generous with their time and experience. Take advantage of the advice that’s out there for free; volunteer or intern, or do whatever you can to get in the trenches as soon as possible. And make sure you love music enough to keep it as your inspiration throughout.

Any other advice?
We really need that new generation of imagination—younger people who will keep us all in touch with how people of all generations enjoy music and learn more about it.

Amanda Wuerstlin

Associate Director of Education
Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra
New Orleans, Louisiana
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louisiana phil

Years in current position: 1.5
Years in the field: 3

Majors:
Music Education

Career Path:
Music/violin teacher, Lusher Charter School, New Orleans 
Substitute teacher, Morrow, Georgia

What are the most surprising, interesting or challenging aspects of your day-to-day work?
Working with various musicians can be challenging.

What inspired you to work for an orchestra?
I think the orchestra can provide a great source of music education that is much needed in this city.

What advice would you offer to someone considering the orchestra field?
It is a very hectic, but rewarding experience.