Thursday, October 11, 2018

League announces latest cohort in its Emerging Leaders Program

League of American Orchestras writes:

Twelve Orchestra Professionals Selected for 
League of American Orchestras' 
Emerging Leaders Program 
Ten-Month Program Begins October 20, 
Develops Stewards of the Orchestra Field's Future

New York, NY (October 11, 2018) – Twelve orchestra professionals will participate in the League of American Orchestras' Emerging Leaders Program, the field's prime source for identifying and cultivating the leadership potential of talented orchestra professionals.
The 2018-19 cohort—the most diverse in the history of the program—is comprised of orchestra executive directors, a conductor, a professional orchestral musician, and managers in a cross-section of orchestra departments, including education and community engagement, development, marketing, operations, programming, and sales. Most have between ten and fifteen years of experience.
Along with its previous iteration, the Orchestra Management Fellowship Program, the Emerging Leaders Program has advanced the development of more than 190 alumni—now executive directors and senior executives of orchestras. 
"For 75 years, the League of American Orchestras has been charged by the field to develop strategic thinkers and innovators," said League President and CEO Jesse Rosen. "These twelve Emerging Leaders Program participants are stewards of our field's future, and will be equipped with the knowledge they need to lead now and throughout their careers."
Program participants were selected through a competitive application process; the League sought individuals who bring the imagination, drive, vision, and commitment to grow as leaders in their own orchestras and serve as champions for the field. Applicants were chosen based on their leadership experience and growth potential; adaptive capabilities and collaborative skills; diversity in experience and perspectives; passion for and commitment to orchestras; and potential to shape and influence the orchestra field as it evolves to meet changing audiences. 
2018-19 program participants will take part in both in-person and virtual seminars and have the opportunity to learn from top leaders from both inside and outside the orchestra field. Over the course of ten months, beginning on October 20-with a three-day meeting in New York City, the cohort will engage in one-on-one coaching, mentoring by field leaders, in-depth seminars led by leadership experts, visits with executives and institutions from outside the orchestra field for broader learning, and the opportunity to develop and launch a capstone project at the League's National Conference in Nashville (June 3-5, 2019) addressing a key leadership issue affecting the field.
Four themes underpin the curriculum for this intensive program:
Fostering a Vibrant Orchestra - Understanding and assessing organizational culture and developing the foundational knowledge to be able to build a thriving and effective organization with a healthy, diverse, and inclusive culture.
Challenging the Status Quo - Discovering new practices, solutions, and ideas, both inside and beyond the orchestra field and applying them in ways that achieve greater relevance and increased impact.
Taking Responsibility for Self-Leadership - Building reflective practice as a means of increasing self-awareness and self-management, in ways that sustain a career of increasing responsibility, influence, and professional growth in the orchestra field.
Forging a Unified Vision - Developing a unifying strategic direction, working across traditional boundaries to bring people together in support of shared purpose.
The Emerging Leaders Program is guided by renowned leadership expert John McCann as the lead faculty and facilitator. Mary Parish is ELP's leadership coach, providing one-on-one coaching for each participant throughout the course of the program. Additional faculty, including Ama Codjoe, arts and social justice educator, and other guest speakers from in and outside the orchestra field, provide ELP participants with diverse perspectives and multifaceted learning experience. See faculty bios here.

The 2018-19 Emerging Leaders Program participants are:
  • Angela Carter, Development Director / Clarinetist, Tulsa Symphony
  • Vanessa Gardner, Executive Director, East Texas Symphony Orchestra
  • Amy Ginsburg, Executive Director, Southwest Florida Symphony
  • Kellen Gray, Assistant Conductor, Charleston Symphony
  • Alexandra Llamas, Director of Marketing, San Francisco Symphony
  • Ahmad Mayes, Director of Education and Community Engagement, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
  • Anthony Morris, Orchestra Manager and Development / Programmatic Associate, InterSchool Orchestras of New York
  • Anwar Nasir, Assistant Director, Sales & Customer Engagement, Los Angeles Philharmonic Association
  • Elizabeth Shribman, Associate Director of Executive Operations, San Francisco Symphony
  • Maribeth Stahl, Sr. Director of Development, Nashville Symphony
  • Steve Wenig, Vice President and General Manager, Oregon Symphony
  • Rachel Zeithamel, Director of Education and Community Engagement, Toledo Symphony

Cohort bios and photos are linked at
Launched in 2014, the Emerging Leaders Program is the newest chapter in the League's history of developing orchestral leaders. Other leadership and professional development programs have included the Orchestra Management Fellowship Program, the Executive Leadership Programs, Institutional Vision and Critical Issues programs, American Conducting Fellowship Program, and Essentials of Orchestra Management

Read bios of previous program participants here: Class of 2017-18; Class of 2016-17; and Class of 2015-16. Noteworthy Emerging Leaders Program alumni include, among others:
  • Jennifer Barton, Vice President of Advancement, Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra (Individual Giving Manager when she participated)
  • Christopher Harrington, Managing Director of Paradise Jazz Series / Managing Director & Curator of @ The Max, Detroit Symphony Orchestra
  • Elisabeth Madeja, Interim Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Director of Marketing when she participated)
  • Gary Padmore, Director of Education and Community Engagement, New York Philharmonic (Director of Education and Community, Orchestra of St. Luke's when he participated)
  • John Roloff, Director of Operations and Facilities, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
  • Jodi Weisfield, Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (Vice President of Development when she participated)
  • Sonja Winkler, Senior Director of Operations and Orchestra Manager, Nashville Symphony
  • Rebecca Zabinski, Director of Artistic Planning, Houston Symphony (Artistic Associate when she participated)
The Emerging Leaders Program is made possible by generous grants from American Express, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
The League of American Orchestras leads, supports, and champions America's orchestras and the vitality of the music they perform. Its diverse membership of more than 2,000 organizations and individuals across North America runs the gamut from world-renowned orchestras to community groups, from summer festivals to student and youth ensembles, from conservatories to libraries, from businesses serving orchestras to individuals who love symphonic music. The only national organization dedicated solely to the orchestral experience, the League is a nexus of knowledge and innovation, advocacy, and leadership advancement. Its conferences and events, award-winning Symphony magazine, website, and other publications inform people around the world about orchestral activity and developments. Founded in 1942 and chartered by Congress in 1962, the League links a national network of thousands of instrumentalists, conductors, managers and administrators, board members, volunteers, and business partners. Visit

Download a printable version of the press release here.
Photo credits: Angela Carter: Miller Photography, Inc; Vanessa Gardner: Callynth Photography; Amy Ginsburg: Jessica Stanfield and Beth Phillips; Kellen Gray: Jarrett McCourt; Alexandra Llamas: Kim Huynh; Photo courtesy of Ahmad Mayes; Photo courtesy of Anthony Morris; Photo courtesy of Anwar Nasir; Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Shribman; Photo courtesy of Maribeth Stahl; Steve Wenig: Eric Arbiter; Rachel Zeithamel: Robert Cummerow

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