Education profiles TN
Director of Education and Community Partnerships
Knoxville Symphony Orchestra
Years in current position: 5
Years in the field: 5
B.A. Music (emphasis on voice and coursework completed for music education)
I learned a great deal from the Orchestra Leadership Academy sessions just prior to League of American Orchestras National Conferences.
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.