skip to Main Content

Kidznotes’ Own Alex Plueckhan Receives Honor

Kidznotes’ Operations Manager, Alex Plueckhan, Selected to Participate in Essentials of Orchestra Management, League of American Orchestras Ten-Day Immersive Seminar

Acclaimed Residential Program Offers Comprehensive Curriculum, Tools for Effective Leadership, and Extensive Network-Building Opportunities

 Durham, NC (July 13, 2017) – Kidznotes’ Operations Manager, Alex Plueckhan, is one of only thirty-two participants from across the United States selected by the League of American Orchestras to experience the League of American Orchestras’ ten-day Essentials of Orchestra Management program in Los Angeles, July 18-27, 2017. The seminar will offer participants the unique opportunity to learn from a faculty of field leaders as they explore the fundamentals of orchestra management as well as the changing nature of orchestras and the new values, roles, and practices that are emerging as orchestras evolve.

“From its earliest years, the League of American Orchestras, now celebrating its’ 75th anniversary, has been the field’s primary source for leadership development programming, identifying and equipping professionals with leadership potential for the challenges and opportunities ahead,” said Jesse Rosen, the League’s president and CEO. “We can expect great futures for the thirty-two talented participants in 2017 Essentials of Orchestra Management class.”

“Kidznotes’ mission of changing lives through music is made possible only through the hard work of excellent people like Alex. We are fully committed to supporting her in this unique and powerful opportunity. I am so proud of Alex and the work she does as our director in Raleigh.”  Nick Malinowski, Executive Director of Kidznotes

The long-running Essentials program has an established track record; since its inception in 2000, over 400 professionals have participated in Essentials, including many who now hold key leadership positions in orchestras.

Hosted by the University of Southern California (USC) Thornton School of Music, the seminar is presented in association with the USC Arts Leadership Program (ARTL), the Association of California Symphony Orchestras, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

“The LA Phil and all in the orchestral field are indebted to the League for their long-standing commitment to leadership development programs, and we couldn’t be more pleased to welcome to Southern California the participants in the Essentials of Orchestra Management seminar,” said Gail Samuel, Acting President and CEO, Los Angeles Philharmonic Association. “We look forward to their presence at several of our concerts, as well as the national Take a Stand Festival, bringing together El-Sistema-influenced programs from throughout the country.”

Essentials’ hands-on curriculum is comprehensive and immersive, addressing theory and practice while challenging participants to tackle real-world situations. Starting off with Why Do Orchestras Exist?, a panel conversation with the faculty led by League of American Orchestras President and CEO Jesse Rosen, the intensive experience will focus on a wide range of topics. These include mission, programming, education and community engagement, leadership, new audience engagement, fiscal health, marketing and fundraising, organizational culture, governance and leadership, the art of negotiating, advocacy and communications, and technology.

The residential program offers emerging leaders a chance to build a network of peers; in addition to seminar-style learning, participants will live and socialize together, attending a number of concerts and events, including the Association of California Symphony Orchestras (ACSO) Conference as well as concerts at the Hollywood Bowl and the Take a Stand Festival (Gustavo Dudamel conducting). All participants will also receive mentoring and career guidance from the faculty.

This year’s Essentials participants were selected in a competitive process based on management and leadership experience and potential, commitment to serving American orchestras, and motivation and goals for participating in this professional development seminar.

Brent Assink, Executive Director, The Fuller Foundation and the former Executive Director of the San Francisco Symphony, is the seminar director and a member of faculty The Essentials of Orchestra Management core faculty members are:

Jennifer Barlament, Executive Director, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Bruce Coppock, Former President and Managing Director, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra

Scott Faulkner, Principal Bassist, Reno Philharmonic; Former Executive Director, Reno Chamber Orchestra

Jesse Rosen, President and CEO, League of American Orchestras

Simon Woods, President and CEO, Seattle Symphony Orchestra


Essentials 2017 guest presenters include:

Nancy Abell, Partner, Employment Law, Paul Hastings LLPA

Kenneth Foster, Arts Leadership Program, USC Thornton School of Music

Vijay Gupta, Violin, Los Angeles Philharmonic

Jim Kirk, Chief Finance Officer, San Francisco Symphony

Terry Kramer, Adjunct Professor of Decisions, Operations and Technology Management, UCLA Anderson School of Management

Robert Lasher, Senior Vice President for Advancement, Dartmouth College

John Mangum, President and Artistic Director, Philharmonic Society of Orange County

Lachlan McBane, Viola, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Mitch Menchaca, Executive Director, Association of California Symphony Orchestras

David Rejano Cantero, Principal Trombone, Los Angeles Philharmonic

Laura Reynolds, Director of Education & Community Engagement, Seattle Symphony Orchestra

Gail Samuel, Acting President and CEO, Los Angeles Philharmonic Association

David Snead, President and CEO, Handel and Haydn Society


2017 Essentials of Orchestra Management participants include:

Brandon Bell, Adjunct Instructor of Music/Marketing and Operations Manager, Houston Community College/American Festival for the Arts

Liam Bonner, Development Officer, Houston Symphony

KC Commander, Marketing Coordinator, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Scott Cranston, Principal Trombone, New Haven Symphony Orchestra

Jeri Corgill, Director of Administrative Services, City of Greenfield, CA

Anthony Crespo, Marketing Associate, Valley Performing Arts Center

Elizabeth Fairfield, Manager of Artist Services & Assistant to Music Director, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra

Michael Gandlmayr, Education and Youth Orchestra Programs Manager, St. Louis Symphony

Karen Geer, Executive Director, Interschool Orchestras of New York

Carrie Graham, Operations Assistant, Richmond Symphony

Angelica Hairston, Teaching Artist, Urban Youth Harp Ensemble

John Helyar, Director, Zander Media Center/ Executive Director of Brattle Media, Boston Philharmonic Orchestra

Ingrid Keller, Executive Director, Western Piedmont Symphony

Sarah Lamb, Coordinator, Education and Community Programs, The Cleveland Orchestra

Katherine Lehman, Executive Director, Bowdin International Music Festival Alexandra Llamas, Associate Marketing Director, The San Francisco Symphony

Joseph Matthews, Legal Intern, Rasco, Klock, Perez, & Nieto, P.L

Stephanie McGurren, Artistic Planning Assistant, New York Philharmonic

Ellen Johnson Mosley, Coordinator of Education, Wichita Symphony

Sophie Moss, Grants Manager and Development Associate, Albany Symphony Orchestra

Michael Mossaad, Education and Engagement Coordinator, Minnesota Orchestra

Anwar Nasir, Assistant Director of Sales and Customer Experience, Los Angeles Philharmonic Association

Gary Padmore, Director of Education and Community, Orchestra of St. Luke’s

Alexandra Plueckhan, Operations Manager, Kidznotes

Stephanie Prom, Volunteer Activities Coordinator, Los Angeles Philharmonic Association

David Renfro, Director of Operations, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra

Amanda Sansonetti, Santiago Strings Manager, Pacific Symphony

Deanna Sirkot, Education Manager, Alabama Symphony Orchestra

Ross Triner, Community Engagement Manager, New World Symphony

Brenda Turner, Associate Director of Individual Giving, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Justus Zimmerman, Marketing & Sales Manager, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

Marc Zyla, Director of Education & Community Engagement/Orchestra Personnel Manager, Quad City Symphony Orchestra

Essentials of Orchestra Management is made possible by a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

About Alex Plueckhan:  Alex, the daughter of German parents, was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and raised in several different parts of the world. Having played a variety instruments, including the violin and the electric bass, Alex discovered that her passion was working with musicians rather than being a musician herself. After graduating high school, she volunteered with El Sistema in Ecuador for one year. This experience launched an effort to enhance her skills and breadth of knowledge from practical work experiences in the arts. With a Bachelor’s in Languages, Literature and Culture, she speaks four languages.

Alex was excited to join the Kidznotes team in September 2014 and is looking forward to support and help implement the fundamental idea and vision of El Sistema in NC. She enjoys seeing children grow with and through music and is inspired by their accomplishments.Add your orchestra boilerplate

About Kidznotes:  Kidznotes’ mission is to change lives through ever-expanding participation in youth orchestras, bands, and choirs. 

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 symphonies 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


# # #



Back To Top