Up and Down the Scale: September & October 2018

Sharing the latest developments and changes in the professional lives of our members. This edition covers announcements made in September and October 2018.


The Carmel Bach Festival announced the promotion of Michael Beattie to the position of Director of the Virginia Best Adams Masterclass.

Pacific Chorale announced the appointment of Andrew Brown as its new President and Chief Executive Officer. Brown comes to the Chorale following a 17-year tenure at Los Angeles Master Chorale, where he worked his way up from administrative assistant to Chief Operating Officer. He has an undergraduate degree in music education from Ball State in Muncie, Indiana and an MA/MBA in Arts Management from the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University. He will begin his tenure with the Chorale on December 3, 2018.

The Santa Rosa Symphony announced the addition of Mary A. Chapot to its Board of Directors. Chapot brings an intense love of music, and a musical and fiduciary background to the Santa Rosa Symphony Board.

Los Angeles Philharmonic conductor Gustavo Dudamel will receive the Dorothy and Lillian Gish prize for his work in the arts at a ceremony to take place Dec. 4 at Lincoln Center in New York City. The award was established in 1994 through the will of actress Lillian Gish to honor individuals who have, according to the website for the prize, “made an outstanding contribution to the beauty of the world and to mankind’s enjoyment and understanding of life.” Dudamel fits the bill, according to the Gish Prize Trust, thanks to his work as a conductor and his significant efforts in the realm of music education via the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles initiative, which provides access to music education for young people from under-served communities. The Gish Prize comes with a cash award of $250,000 and will be presented to Dudamel during the ceremony.

Los Angeles-based violinist Vijay Gupta was named one of 25 recipients of a 2018 MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant. Gupta, who joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2007 at age 19, has long been an advocate for the homeless, incarcerated and underprivileged residents of Los Angeles, particularly those who live downtown on "skid row." In 2011, Gupta co-founded the not-for-profit Street Symphony, which pools the talents of local musicians to provide live concerts at shelters, county jails, and treatment and transitional housing facilities.

The Las Vegas Philharmonic announced the appointment of Executive Director, Lacey Huszcza (HOO-shuh). Huszcza will lead the organization with executive oversight on all finance, fundraising, programming and operations for the twenty-year old performing arts non-profit. She assumes the post on December 1, 2018. Huszcza has spent her last 13 years of professional life with the esteemed Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and is an ACSO board member.

The Modesto Symphony Orchestra Association and Music Director David Lockington have agreed to renew his final contract through the 2019-2020 Season, concluding his thirteen year tenure as Music Director.

ACSO Board Member Kathryn R. Martin and Carrie West have joined the The Santa Barbara Symphony Board of Directors. The board works to support the organization’s mission to enrich the community by creating powerful musical experiences performed, and providing music education and community engagement.

The Reno Chamber Orchestra welcomed new Executive Director, Thom Mayes. Mr. Mayes hails from the Seattle area and is currently CEO of the Northwest Sinfonietta, a chamber orchestra performing in the Seattle-Tacoma area. He has a background as both a classical performer and administrator, holding degrees in double bass performance from the University of Colorado and a Masters in Arts Leadership from Seattle University.

Nicholas McGegan announced that he will retire as Music Director of Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale, America’s preeminent period performance ensemble, after the 2019-20 Season; at that time, he will have guided the organization for 35 years. He will be designated Music Director Laureate in recognition of his many contributions to the orchestra at the beginning of the 2020-21 season.

The Philharmonic Society of Orange County announced the appointment of Tommy Phillips as its new President and Artistic Director, effective October 1, 2018. Phillips succeeds John Mangum, who stepped down from this role in April to become the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Houston Symphony.

San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory's Board of Directors announced Dr. Michael Remson as its new President and CEO. He will commence the position on Jan. 7, 2019 and succeeds Dalouge Smith who concluded his 13th year with SDYS in July. Having been at the American Festival for the Arts (AFA) for 22 years, Dr. Remson has spent the last 11 years as the Executive and Artistic Director. In that role, he directed all programs, fundraising, marketing, administrative and collaborative activities for Houston's leading non-profit provider of music education programs for young people.

Derrick Spiva Jr, an esteemed music educator and composer noted for his music influences that reflect Southern California’s multicultural fabric, has been named Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s (LACO) first Artist Educator. Spiva, previously associated with the Orchestra as 2015-16 Composer In Residence, brings enhanced creative vigor to LACO’s educational and music programs. The three-year appointment, beginning in this season, runs through the 2020-21 season.

Festival Mozaic Executive Director and ACSO Board Member Bettina Swigger accepted a position as the Chief Executive Officer of Downtown SLO, a 501(c)6 organization advocating for the economic vibrancy and cultural relevance of downtown San Luis Obispo.


The Carson City Symphony Association announced the third annual instrumental music scholarship for Carson City students age 5 to 17. The scholarship was established by a gift from Jennifer and John Webley in memory of Rosemary Nebesky, former board member and friend of the Carson City Symphony Association. The award of $250 to $1,000 is to further the student's music education. It can be used, for example, for lessons, workshop, summer camp, master class, etc.

Four top-tier post-graduate string musicians from underrepresented communities have been announced as the first class of The Los Angeles Orchestra Fellowship, a program designed to increase diversity in American orchestras. Launched in August 2018, the groundbreaking program was conceived by a partnership of Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (ICYOLA), the country’s largest African-American-majority youth orchestra; Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO), one of the world’s leading chamber orchestras; and USC Thornton School of Music, one of the country’s top music programs. Violinist Sydney Adedamola, violinist Ayrton Pisco, violist Bradley Parrimore and cellist Juan-Salvador Carrasco will receive a 360-degree view of a career as an orchestral musician in this rigorous two-year training program. A key pillar of The Fellowship is artistic mentoring the Fellows receive from LACO musicians and USC Thornton faculty. In turn, Fellows will actively mentor, teach, and guide young ICYOLA musicians. Among the other opportunities provided are extensive performance and rehearsal experience; compensation, benefits, housing; and unprecedented support to prepare participants to win auditions in professional American orchestras. The Fellowship was developed to address the fact that less than 5% of America's orchestra workforce is African American, Hispanic or Native American, according to a 2016 report on diversity issued by the League of American Orchestras.

The Los Angeles Philharmonic announced YOLA at Camino Nuevo, the fourth site of LA Phil Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel’s Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) program, through which the LA Phil and its community partners provide free, high-quality music training and academic support to over 1,200 students from vulnerable communities. YOLA at Camino Nuevo serves hundreds of students in the Westlake/MacArthur Park area of Los Angeles and is home to the first in-school YOLA model, democratizing access to a rigorous sequential music-education-through-the-school environment, with additional music enrichment in after-school hours. Currently serving students in grades K-3, YOLA at Camino Nuevo will, over time, serve students in grades K-12 at the Kayne Siart campus and Miramar campus of Camino Nuevo Charter Academy.

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