Marketing profiles

Marketing positions can include director or manager levels, box office manager, subscriptions manager, group sales, audience development, and database administrator.

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Carolyn L. Bacon

Vice President, Marketing
San Antonio Symphony
San Antonio, Texas
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Years in current position: 3
Years in the field: 3 with orchestra, 25 in marketing

Majors:
Philosophy

Additional Training:
Certified Nonprofit Manager
Database Management
Lots of seminars, professional development, marketing, public relations, PR on the net, etc.

Career Path:
Marketing Director, ad agencies
Public Relations/Promotions/Public Affairs Director, radio
Marketing Director, YMCAs
Development Director, Animal Defense League

What are the most surprising, interesting or challenging aspects of your day-to-day work?
The most interesting aspects are the composers, conductors, artists and musicians who make the music happen. The most challenging components are the business environment, symphony marketing/sales budgets, and market reaction and inaction.

What advice would you offer to someone considering the orchestra field?
Be flexible, responsive, and listen well.

Any other advice?
It’s management. The more prepared you can be in human relations, business and management, the better you will do. 

Jody Ballou

Director of Marketing and Public Relations
Billings Symphony Orchestra & Chorale
Billings, Montana
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Time in current position: 5 months
Years in the field: 1.5

Majors:
International Relations, minor in journalism

Additional Training:
Certified teacher, English as a Second Language
Self-trained graphic artist

Career Path:
Retail Graphic Designer, Billings Gazette Communications
Production Artist, The Billings Outpost
Freelance Designer, specializing in newsletters

What are the most surprising, interesting or challenging aspects of your day-to-day work?
The most challenging aspect is the workload. I am a one-woman marketing department, designing all of our print and web promotional materials while writing all of our press releases and many of our community communications. My days are never dull or routine.

What inspired you to work for an orchestra?
I love music. All music. In the small town where I live, the music scene is not a major employer. I feel fortunate to work in the industry. My skills as a graphic artist and writer got me here.

What advice would you offer to someone considering the orchestra field?
Go for it! An orchestra requires many of the same job skills as any other business, non-profit or not. On-the-job learning and refining has been critical for me and I’m fortunate to work with an executive director who has been in the orchestra industry for nearly 20 years. I’d like to start attending industry-related seminars and training. . . that’s the advice I’d offer: Mix with your peers in the industry and be generous with the information you share.

Any other advice?
Music feeds the soul. The “product” you help produce has far-reaching implications that greatly shape people’s lives and our society in general.

B. Joseph Burch

Marketing Manager, Subscriptions and Sales
San Francisco Symphony
San Francisco, California
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Time in current position: 8 months
Years in the field: 10+

Majors:
Music Education, but I switched to and finished with Music Business

Additional Training:
My degree provided me with, basically, a business minor. Those classes were very helpful early in my career (i.e. finance, accounting, economics, marketing).

Career Path:
Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Chamber Orchestra 
Manager, Media Play (Musicland Group)
Visual Merchandising Manager, Sam Goody (Musicland Group)
Audio Marketing Manager, Musicland Group (Best Buy)
Marketing Consultant, Freelance
Assistant Director of Marketing, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra 

What are the most surprising, interesting or challenging aspects of your day-to-day work?
Most challenging is the volume of work with limited resources. I also find the lack of innovation by the major leaders in the industry discouraging.

What inspired you to work for an orchestra?
I’m passionate about the music.

What advice would you offer to someone considering the orchestra field?
Interview and try out the different parts of the field, such as operations, development, marketing, etc. They are really different dynamics. 

Any other advice?
Come one, come all!

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.
 

Lenore Eggleston

Director, Marketing and Development
Westchester Philharmonic
White Plains, New York
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westchester phil

Years in current position: 4
Years in the field: 10

Majors:
B.A. Dance and Psychology
M.A. Performing Arts Management

Additional Training:
Orchestra Leadership Academy courses in public relations
Various other League seminars and events

Career Path:
Development Assistant, Ballet Tech
Market and Development Associate, Kaufman Center (NYC)
Founder and Director, Evolution Dance Theater (Westchester, NY)

What are the most surprising, interesting or challenging aspects of your day-to-day work?
It is always a challenge to balance a small budget, limited resources, and a small staff. You always have to be willing to work at all levels—from envelope stuffing to donor solicitation. Struggling to find new and increased funding is a huge challenge, but often an interesting and rewarding process.

What inspired you to work for an orchestra?
I have been a dancer my entire life and the arts have always been important to me. I have never been as concerned with the type of arts organization I work for as much as the challenge that a particular job position presents.

What were your first steps in your working career?
I took a winter internship with a dance company and a summer internship at a performing arts center during college. I was able to work in a variety of aspects within both companies and it gave me a better sense of what the field demands. I think this was a great way to get my feet wet and gave me solid experience for my resume before I began the job search.

What advice would you offer to someone considering the orchestra field?
Get experience first to be sure this is the right industry for you.

Any other advice?
It’s a lot of work and takes a lot of passion, but is very rewarding.

Sandy Galin

Director of Development and Marketing
New West Symphony
Thousand Oaks, Oxnard, and Santa Monica, California
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Years in current position: 1.5
Years in the field: 15+

Majors:
Liberal Studies (elementary education) 
UCLA Extension: Fund Raising, Broadcasting

Additional Training:
Relevant database training
Meet the Grant Maker presentations
Association California Symphony Orchestra conferences
CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) conferences;
Association of Fund Raising Professionals training programs

Career Path:
Professional Choral Musician, toured nationally and internationally and sang locally as a soloist and with ensembles (Roger Wagner Chorale, Norman Luboff Choir, William Hall Chorale, Carmel Bach Festival, San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival, Los Angeles Bach Festival, etc.)
Assistant to the Director of Alumni Development and Contracts and Grants, UCLA School of Social Welfare
Assistant Director, Annual Fund, Occidental College
Director of Development, Cal State University Northridge, Colleges of Humanities and Science and Math
Assistant Director of Development, College of Social and Behavioral Science and the University Library
Director of Advancement, Pacific Oaks College and Children’s School
Director of Development, CHIME Institute

What are the most surprising, interesting or challenging aspects of your day-to-day work?
It’s a joy to work for a musical organization where all employees are invested in making it a success. Challenging: We have one administrative assistant, so all directors do an amazing amount of multi-tasking, including writing direct mail solicitations and press releases; creating graphics for programs, cultivation, and marketing materials; producing and managing cultivation/fund-raising events; writing grants; raising funds from individuals/businesses; building audiences; securing sponsorships; arranging ensemble concerts (with the General Manager); inputting prospect and donor data; and more, including working with the board of directors and auxiliary leadership. 

What inspired you to work for an orchestra?
I thought it would be a wonderful match for my musical and development background.

What were the first steps in your professional career?
I took hands-on jobs so I could learn all the aspects of development, PR, community relations, and marketing. When I outgrew a position (or there was no where to move up), I moved on so I could keep growing my skills.

What advice would you offer to someone considering the orchestra field?
Try to intern for a non-profit in high school or volunteer while in college. If you let the executive or development director know you’re interested in working in the non-profit world, you will find an excellent mentor.

Any other advice?
Be organized and flexible.

Nancy Goldsmith Zawacki

Marketing Director
Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra
Rochester, New York
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Time in current position: 2 months
Time in the field: 2 months

Majors:
Journalism

Additional Training:
American Marketing Association workshops

Career Path:
News Reporter and Anchor, ABC and Fox affiliates 
Public Relations and Marketing, The House of the Seven Gables Museum  Communications, Monroe County Medical Society 
Marketing Director, United Way of Greater Rochester

What are the most surprising, interesting or challenging aspects of your day-to-day work?
The target is always moving, so it’s critical everyone gets on board.

What inspired you to work for an orchestra?
Music is a deeply personal and private experience. I wanted to be able to help others get those same experiences through marketing.

What advice would you offer to someone considering the orchestra field?
They don’t have to know all music to do it. They just need the passion, instincts, and the business sense to make it happen.

Any other advice?
Take Pepcid. (Just kidding.) 

 

Catherine Guarino

Director of Communications and Ticket Sales
Lansing Symphony Orchestra
Lansing, Michigan
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lansing SO

Time in current position: Less than six months
Years in the field: 1.5

Majors:
Bachelor of Vocal Music Education, minors in Applied Voice and English

Additional Training:
Arts Administration internships:  Opera Grand Rapids, Glimmerglass Opera

Career Path:
Choir Manager, Grand Valley State University
Music and Assistant Director, Shrine Fine and Performing Arts Camp 

What are the most surprising, interesting or challenging aspects of your day-to-day work?
Because I do not have an educational background in communications or marketing, the most challenging thing for me is doing new things like writing press releases, setting up interviews, relating to media, etc. Because I am also in charge of all ticket sales for the season, I find I have to juggle promoting a concert with actually selling the tickets!

What inspired you to work for an orchestra?
I knew I wanted to work for some kind of an arts organization, preferably music. My background is in vocal performance, so my first pick was an opera company (hence the internships). But there are only two opera companies in Michigan, and more than a few orchestras. The Lansing Symphony had an opening, and I applied!

What advice would you offer to someone considering the orchestra field?
Get out and experience as much as you can—do job shadowing, get an internship.

Michael Guillot

Vice President for Patron Services and Chief Advancement Officer
North Carolina Symphony
Raleigh, North Carolina
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nc symphony

Years in current position: 2
Years in the field: 22

Majors:
Undergraduate: English
Graduate: Counseling
Currently working toward Ph.D, Leadership and Change

Additional Training:
Association of Fundraising Professionals local and national programs
Some training with CASE and AHP

Career Path:
Teacher, Principal, School and Hospital development officer, consultant, back to development executive.

What are the most surprising, interesting or challenging aspects of your day-to-day work?
Managing people is always fun. Increasing goals remain challenging.

What inspired you to work for an orchestra?
Commitment to education and excellence, quality management.
 

Connie Haynes

Patron Services Representative
Colorado Symphony Orchestra
Denver,Colorado
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Years in current position: 2
Years in the field: 15

Majors:
Optician, English

Additional Training:
I was a band and orchestra mom.

Career Path:
I have been a fundraiser for more than fifteen years for various non-profit organizations, Including P.A.L, Easter Seals, Special Olympics, ASPCA, Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood, and the DNC.

What are the most surprising, interesting or challenging aspects of your day-to-day work?
I love to talk to people about the things I enjoy. One of those things is the orchestra. Three
generations of my family have benefited from our education department. I think that’s very important, even if the only thing a person learns is a better understanding of music for listening. Nothing can match the powerful effect music has on an individual–emotionally, mentally, inspirationally, etc.

What inspired you to work for an orchestra?
I was looking for a job and found an ad that said “work for the symphony.” I did not hunt it down exactly, but when I came in for the interview I realized that I’d been here many times before, with my children for music lessons, and also because I had attended the children’s programs myself. I was one of the kids bussed down here a couple of times, when I was growing up.

What advice would you offer to someone considering the orchestra field?
Keep focused, don’t get discouraged. We all have our bad days and everyone makes mistakes sometimes. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and don’t be afraid to talk to someone if you feel things are not quite right. There is more than one way to do just about everything. Nothing beats creativity, sincerity, and hard work—except maybe stick-to-it-tive-ness.

Alice Kornhauser

Director of Marketing and Communications
Portland Symphony Orchestra
Portland, Maine
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Portland SO

Years in current position: 3.5
Years in the field: 6

Majors:
Music Performance

Additional Training:
I did a lot of management training (Cornell, etc.) early in my publishing career, which has been really helpful even though it was 20 years ago!

Career Path:
Managing Editor, Ziff-Davis Publications 
Vice President/General Manager, Pegasus Internet 
Consultant (technology integration for arts organizations) 
Director of Internet Projects, From the Top 
Senior Marketing Director, Lincoln Center, Inc.

What are the most surprising, interesting or challenging aspects of your day-to-day work?
How many people think tickets should be cheaper or free. Or that we should advertise in every single, tiny media outlet and website. How many people don’t know how to plan a project or maintain a budget.

What inspired you to work for an orchestra?
The opportunity to move to Portland (quality of life) and really have an impact through my work here. (The PSO is Maine’s largest performing arts organization.)

Would you have done anything differently?
I was so fixated on performance in college that I didn’t really realize I could have a career in the arts (PR, arts management). Would have been nice to know that earlier.

What advice would you offer to someone considering the orchestra field?
Don’t go to grad school for Arts Administration unless you’re getting an M.B.A. Just get a job. Remember that at the end of the day, players and management are on the same team, even if it seems like nobody else feels that way. Go to the concerts!!!

Any other advice?
Be prepared to move if you want to stay in the field. Most communities only have one orchestra (if they’re lucky).
 

Randall E. Moore

Patron Services Representative
Colorado Symphony Orchestra
Denver, Colorado
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colorado symphony

Years in current position: 2
Years in the field: 2.5

Majors:
English Literature

Additional Training:
Piano lessons

Career Path:
Patron Services Representative, SDA Teleservices
Telephone fundraiser, Telefund Inc.

What are the most surprising, interesting or challenging aspects of your day-to-day work?
Telemarketing a product of non-material value to patrons who appreciate that value and benefit from it.

What inspired you to work for an orchestra?
The love of music and of classical music.

What advice would you offer to someone considering the orchestra field?
You gotta love the music.

Kim Noltemy

Director of Sales, Marketing and Communications
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Boston, Massachusetts
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boston symph

Years in current position: 12
Years in the field: 12

Majors:
East Asian Studies

Career Path:
Sales Manager, Swissotels/Swissair
Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism: Marketing Manager-Japan, International Marketing Manager, Director of International Marketing
Marketing Manager, Boston Symphony Orchestra

What are the most surprising, interesting or challenging aspects of your day-to-day work?
The most challenging is balancing the needs of the various departments: I oversee marketing, communications, sales, event services, merchandising, front-of-house operations, and corporate sponsorships.

What inspired you to work for an orchestra?
The reputation of the BSO and the importance of music in general.

What were your first steps in your professional career?
I graduated during a major recession, so I did not have many choices. I learned valuable information/skills in each job I had.

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

It is a very challenging, yet rewarding field. Each day is interesting and varied. 

Sherri Prentiss

Marketing Director
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
Cincinnati, Ohio
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Years in current position: 1
Years in the field: 9

Majors:
Communications/Advertising, Sociology

Career Path:
Marketing Director, Madison (WI) Symphony Orchestra
Marketing Communications Specialist, UW Credit Union
Senior Account Executive, Wood Communications Group (PR firm)
Advertising Teaching Assistant, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Account Coordinator, Foote, Cone & Belding Direct (ad agency)

What are the most surprising, interesting or challenging aspects of your day-to-day work?
Challenging: Marketing the schedule of a full-time orchestra—each concert deserves some attention, but some require more. You need to prioritize. There are no weekends off. Interesting: The opportunity to see it all come together onstage.

What inspired you to work for an orchestra?

An opportunity to combine my training (marketing) with something I’m passionate about (the arts, and music in particular).

What advice would you offer to someone considering the orchestra field?
Get an internship at a local arts organization before deciding if it’s something you’d like to pursue as a career.

Any other advice?

Be prepared for hard work for less pay than your for-profit colleagues.

Bruce Robinson

Senior Director of Marketing
Houston Symphony
Houston, Texas
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Years in current position: 5
Years in the field: 5 years with orchestras, 20 years in marketing

Majors:
Bachelor’s and Master of Music in Piano, Indiana University
Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano, University of Arizona
M.B.A., Kellogg/Northwestern

Additional Training:
Certified Management Accountant

Career Path:
Brach Candy: Senior Financial Analyst, Business Unit Controller, Associate Marketing Manager, Bureaucracy Buster, Director of Market Research, Marketing Manager
Azar Nut Company: Vice President, Marketing
Shell Oil: Manager Strategy Planning

What are the most surprising, interesting or challenging aspects of your day-to-day work?
The pace and the complexity of orchestra marketing far outweigh anything I saw in the private sector. Orchestra marketers are the best marketers I know.

What inspired you to work for an orchestra?
This was an opportunity to combine two loves, music and marketing.

Would you have done anything differently?
I’ve enjoyed every position I’ve held. I needed all the experience I had to have succeeded in my present position.

What advice would you offer to someone considering a marketing position in the orchestra field?
Get a first-class marketing education at a premier business school and work with a first-class marketer at a premier orchestra.

Any other advice?
Be sure that performing arts marketing is the right field for you. It would be difficult to move to other industries—that speaks to their limited understanding of what we do.

Kevin Shuck

Director of Marketing and Communications
Berkeley Symphony Orchestra
Berkeley, California
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Years in current position: 3
Years in the field: 5

Majors:
B.S. Biochemistry
Ph.D. Molecular Biology

Additional Training:
Orchestra Management Fellowship Program

Career Path:
Production Assistant, Ravinia Festival
Operations Assistant, Pittsburgh Symphony
Director of Marketing and Development, Berkeley Symphony Orchestra

What are the most surprising, interesting or challenging aspects of your day-to-day work?
I find it interesting to develop new ways to get the word out about the Berkeley Symphony in a very crowded Bay Area arts scene, as well as generating excitement and communicating the value of new symphonic works.

What inspired you to work for an orchestra?
I fell into the field by accident while completing my graduate degree, when I became involved as the volunteer general manager for a community band organization in Chicago. I discovered that working for an arts organization provided a way to combine my organizational, computer, and writing skills with my love for music.

What were your first steps toward an orchestra career?
I first accepted a seasonal position at the Ravinia Festival, which had very broad-ranging responsibilities, followed by a six-month position in operations at the Pittsburgh Symphony. Both experiences built up my skills set in a concentrated period of time, and I learned the work culture of two very different music organizations. They also proved very effective in building my industry knowledge and professional credibility, without having to spend too long in entry-level positions.

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

Try to seek out several short-term experiences in a variety of settings, including internships, training programs, temporary positions, and/or seasonal work at festivals. Exposure to different work environments provides a better sense of one’s own interests and, most importantly, the types of organizations and positions that would be most fulfilling.

Any other advice?
Provided you can handle the intense periods that concert schedules demand, there are always job opportunities for capable people in this field!

 

Johanna H. Thomsen

Vice President of Audience Development
Brooklyn Philharmonic
Brooklyn, New York
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Years in current position: 2
Years in the field: 8

Majors:
Dance, English

Career Path:
Creative Services Coordinator, Ballet Hispanico
Marketing Manager, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts 

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.