Wednesday, July 1, 2015


I'm into photojournalism this issue!

After harpist/cannoneer Heidi Soons requested that our aged electronic keyboard be retired from service this summer, clever Technical Director Colin Fletcher built this alternative. Pressing the red button triggers a (free) cannon sound harvested from the internet. Close your eyes during the 1812 Overture and you will swear Heidi muzzle-loaded a 24-pounder!
Speaking of retiring mom and I made this lap harp carton travel-worthy for Rebecca Kopycinski's last few Musical Petting Zoo school visits this spring, but duct tape has its limits! Would some generous harp-lover (and/or SymphonyKids fan) want to buy us a new case for next season? It's only $140 for a custom-designed, padded case that will keep this plucky member of the Zoo safe and sound for another generation of schoolkids!  
Still speaking of retirement...Joy Worland, Jason Whitcomb, and Lori Salimando, a.k.a. our wonderful Fanfare Brass Trio, are all (for various reasons) leaving the group. This photo was taken at their last school show, in Londonderry, in March. Replacement musicians are in the works, and they will no doubt also rely on coffee for the long haul to early morning gigs. 
Surprise! Still on the topic of retirement! David Brubaker, long time principal trumpet of the VSO, came back to Vermont for a visit in May and posed with our Bruckner trumpet section.
And finally...a classic photo of Alan Jordan, an Executive Director who wasn't afraid to have fun in his job. Let's hope his successor has as good a sense of humor, for starters!
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It has been a busy time in the administrative offices.  Besides preparing for the annual eight-concert Summer Festival Tour, a transition in leadership is underway. Alan Jordan, who held the position of Executive Director for sixteen years, has stepped down to pursue other orchestra management opportunities. Charles Smith of Burlington has been named as Interim Executive Director. 
During his Jordan's tenure, the VSO achieved significant artistic and administrative growth. Through its first-ever endowment campaign, the Orchestra raised more than $3.5 million, at the same time the country was going through the Great Recession. Since 1999, the VSO's endowment has grown, currently standing near $4.5 million. Jordan directed efforts to acquire significant new equipment, including a new Steinway concert grand piano, a concert hall sound shell, musician chairs and stands, timpani, and two vehicles.

New media initiatives were effected, including local weekly radio broadcasts, a concert DVD, national radio broadcasts ("Performance Today"), two commercial CD projects, and an internet e-boutique. In addition, new music activities were greatly expanded, including the creation of a New Music Advisor position and the commissioning or co-commissioning of more than 30 new works.
As Interim Executive Director, Smith will guide the Vermont Symphony Orchestra as it continues its mission of fostering and encouraging the appreciation of music in all its various forms, with emphasis on orchestral, choral and chamber music, and providing high quality performances for a broad and diverse public throughout the state of Vermont.
Most recently Smith has worked with Vermont PBS in team building, strategic planning and managing the company's transition to a new permanent president and CEO. He owns and operates Charles P. Smith Management and Strategic Consulting, which specializes in business, finance and government matters, primarily in Vermont. Recent areas of project focus have included bank markets, health care reform, alternative energy, and the state 911 system. 
The Governing Board of Directors and a search committee plan to explore a full range of options as they consider Jordan's successor. Meanwhile, we all look forward to the continuation of the exceptional musical programs that the Vermont Symphony Orchestra is known to provide.

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