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Posts Tagged ‘Akron Symphony’

Maria Sensi Sellner

The Akron Symphony Orchestra has announced the new director of the Akron Symphony Chorus.

Maria Sensi Sellner studied with the noted choral director Robert Page. She holds Carnegie Mellon University graduate-level degrees in conducting and composition. She also has a degree in engineering.

Sellner is a conducting assistant for the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, which performs frequently with the Pittsburgh Symphony. The Mendelssohn Choir’s music director is Betsy Burleigh, who led the Akron Symphony Chorus from 1997 to 2002.

Sellner has also spent 8 seasons as music director of CMU’s All University Orchestra and String Theory Chamber Orchestra, and recently served as assistant conductor for productions of Bizet’s Carmen and Verdi’s Otello with Opera Carolina.

Maria Sensi Sellner replaces Hugh Ferguson Floyd, who is leaving after a two-year tenure to accept a full professorship position as coordinator of choral ensembles at Furman University.

Akron Symphony Orchestra & Chorus

A year ago, the Akron Symphony Orchestra announced that executive director Margo Snider, on the job since 2006, would step down this spring. The Greater Akron Musical Association (GAMA), the orchestra’s parent organization, immediately set about finding a replacement. This week, they named Phil Walz as their new executive director.

Walz has years of experience in arts management. He’s served as director of development for the Island Institute in Rockland, Maine; executive director of the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts; director of development for Plymouth State University; executive director of the New Hampshire Music Festival; and assistant and acting manager of the New Hampshire Symphony Orchestra.

Walz also has a solid musical background. The Akron Symphony’s music director Christopher Wilkins says, "Having trained first as a concert pianist, he knows music well. He will be a terrific advocate for our artists and programs."

According to GAMA executive vice-president Ted Good, "Mr. Walz rose to the top of our list due to his extensive experience in fundraising and development, his demonstrated business acumen in running successful arts organizations, and his status as an award-winning orchestra manager."

Walz will assume his new duties in July of 2009.

Further reading:

Phil Walz at Linked In

Just One More Season for Margo Snider at WKSU Classical

ASO Executive Director Margo Snider (Photo: Akron Symphony)… for the Akron Symphony’s executive director. Margo Snider has held the post since 2006, and plans to step down in the Spring of 2009. After serving as principal of Miller South School for the Visual and Performing Arts, Snider retired from education in 2004. She says she’s enjoyed her job with the Akron Symphony, but doesn’t want a second career.

The orchestra will begin looking for a new executive director this summer.


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