“Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.”

CONFUCIUS

LEADERSHIP

Music Director & Conductor David Itkin

The 2020-2021 season marks Maestro David Itkin’s 16th season as Music Director and Conductor of the Abilene Philharmonic, and his 13th year serving as Professor of Music and Director of Orchestral Studies at the University of North Texas College of Music, where his recent performances have included Mahler Symphony No. 4, the Verdi Requiem, Beethoven Symphony No. 9, and Puccini’s Turandot with the UNT Grand Chorus, and Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen with the UNT Opera Theatre.

During the 2018-2019 season he also joined the Abilene Opera Company for Handel’s Messiah and a fully staged production of West Side Story.

2021-22 Board Of Governors and Staff

Mandy Gollihar, 

President

 

Gregory Straughn, 

Vice-President

 

Ryan Gibson, 

Treasurer

 

Jill Estes Bailey, 

Secretary

Joe Biles

Michelle Brookshire

Lydia Bundy

Chris Carnohan

Brandon Carr 

Josh Fleming

Harry Hurt

Bethany Ibach

Frank Johnson

Sheila Kidd

Mishi Mathur

Tiffany Lamb,
Guild President

Jim Pizzorno,
Foundation President

John Scott

Tyler Sitzes

Marcia Vanden Eykel

Todd Wilson

George Woodward

O. Henry “Mike” Young

Kevin Smith
Executive Director

Sarah Figueroa 
Operations Manager

Serayah Peters 
Box Office Supervisor

Susie Rockett
Orchestra Personnel and Education Manager

CJ Johnson 
Orchestra Librarian 

MISSION STATEMENT

THE ABILENE PHILHARMONIC ASSOCIATION UNLEASHES THE POWER OF MUSIC TO ENTERTAIN, EDUCATE, AND INSPIRE THROUGH LIVE SYMPHONIC MUSIC AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT.

OUR HISTORY

Established
1950

The Abilene Philharmonic is one of Abilene’s most established performing arts organizations. Its history traces back to September 1950, when community supporters organized a musical group called the Abilene Symphony Orchestra with Jay Dietzer as its first conductor. Concerts were held in the old Abilene High School, now Lincoln Middle School.

The first program was presented December 2, 1950 with works by Beethoven, Schubert, Grieg and Wagner. Mr. Dietzer remained with the orchestra through three seasons...

Musician’s spotlight

DAVID SHEA

Clarinet

ALISON READ

Harp

MARK MORTON

Bass

Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra Auditions

The Abilene Philharmonic is a part-time per service orchestra, that is proud to employ some of the best musicians in the state of Texas. If you are interested in an audition, please review our openings and procedures.

ABILENE PHILHARMONIC GUILD

The Abilene Philharmonic Guild supports the APO through volunteering, fundraising, and friend-raising. This special group meets monthly and also coordinates the Belle and Beau usher program.

Membership to the Philharmonic Guild is $50 a year and you must have an active Philharmonic season subscription.

ABILENE PHILHARMONIC FOUNDATION

Making a difference in the lives of listeners around the Big Country

Founded by Conductor Laureate, George Yeager, the Abilene Philharmonic Foundation manages an endowment that ensures the future financial well-being of Abilene’s professional orchestra.

THE INDEPENDENT FOUNDATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS IS DEDICATED TO THE FOLLOWING PRINCIPLES:

The distribution of funds is geared to perpetual support

Funds are invested conservatively and monitored for performance

Gifts support the orchestra now and in future generations

CAREERS

Our open roles

Executive Director

The Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra – celebrating its 71st season of music making in West Texas – seeks a bold and innovative Executive Director to help fulfil its mission: unleashing the power of music to entertain, educate, and inspire through live symphonic music and community engagement. The orchestra is a cornerstone of the arts community in the Big Country, drawing on musicians from throughout West and Central Texas under the leadership of maestro David Itkin. 

Like most of Texas, Abilene is experiencing substantial growth, with an eclectic mix of industries (notably petroleum and wind energy) and colleges (five universities) that call it home. Regular partnerships with Dyess Air Force Base, the regional medical center – Hendrick Hospital – and generous local foundations have helped make the APO a visible and vital presence in the community. The cultural landscape of the community includes a number of nationally-recognized museums – the Grace Museum, NCCIL (National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature), 12th Armored Division Museum, the Center for Contemporary Arts, and Frontier Texas – an award winning zoological park, a local NPR affiliate station broadcasting news and classical music (KACU), and a number of volunteer performing arts groups (Chorus Abilene, the Abilene Community Band, and the collegiate Civic Orchestra of Abilene) with whom the APO occasionally partners.

The APO annual budget, approaching $1M, supports a subscription series of 7 concerts at the Abilene Convention Center in the heart of downtown. Additional concerts include educational outreach performances with the Abilene Independent School District, Zoo Concerts, and cabaret-style shows at the Historic Paramount Theatre. Full time staff include the music director, executive director, operations manager, and box office manager, along with part time staff that include orchestra librarian, orchestra personnel manager, and an education coordinator, with interns drawn from the university community.

Thanks to the work of an active, engaged, and visionary Board, the APO enjoys a uniquely firm financial standing. In 2021, the orchestra launched the Music Director’s Endowment Campaign to help secure finances into the future. Far exceeding their initial goal, the Board announced the public phase of the campaign with a more aggressive $3M goal, having already raised 2/3 of the total. 

Reporting to the Board of Directors, working alongside the Music Director, and partnering with the staff and musicians, the next Executive Director will work to solidify and grow the impact, outreach, and excellence of the APO. Among key components of the initial work include: realizing the final phase of the endowment campaign, ensuring that the organizational structure and resources supports the orchestra’s growing needs, and strengthening the community engagement.

The ideal candidate applies strategic and creative thinking in crafting a vision, demonstrates excellent and collaborative organizational leadership, sets clear expectations and manages personnel with empathy, and exhibits an appetite for calculated risk. The next ED will be an outstanding communicator – listening deeply and writing and speaking effectively – with a passionate commitment to the arts and to classical music in particular. Forward facing, they must be ready to deliver on plans while also being attentive and responsive to changing goals and circumstances.

This position is full-time, exempt
Salary: $60,000 – $75,000
Benefits Information: health insurance, paid vacation, holiday and sick leave.

How To Apply

Please submit your resume, cover letter, and three professional references to: edsearch@abilenephilharmonic.org and be sure to include “Executive Director” in the subject line.

Please include in your cover letter the following information:

  • Salary history and requirements
  • How you learned of the position
  • Description of how your qualifications and experience match Abilene Philharmonic’s needs.


For full consideration, please send materials by May 6, 2022. 

Anticipated Start date: July 15, 2022.

Only electronic submissions will be considered. All nominations and expressions of interest will be held in the strictest confidence. Salary is commensurate with experience, within the framework of the organization’s annual operating budget. The Abilene Philharmonic is an Equal Opportunity Employer and actively seeks a diverse pool of candidates.

Internship-Education Programs

SUMMARY

This internship is an ideal position for those interested in exploring a position in music education within a professional symphony orchestra.  The Intern will work closely with all APO staff and provide support.  Duties include program planning, preparation, and project based work.

DUTIES

Essential Functions:

  • Assist with planning and execution of education activities.
  • Assist with setup and breakdown of Abilene Youth Orchestra rehearsals and concerts.
  • Music Librarian duties as assigned.
  • Filing and data entry.
  • Run errands.
  • Concert and event duties.

Other Functions:

  • Performs other duties as assigned.

QUALIFICATIONS

Education:       High school diploma or GED.

Experience:     Previous experience in an office setting preferred.

Knowledge, skills and abilities:   Knowledge of standard office practices.  Excellent customer service skills.  Excellent verbal and written communication skills.  Ability to work independently and take initiative when appropriate.  Writing/proofreading skills and an understanding of the English language (both written and oral) are required.  Ability to use standard office equipment such as copy machines, multi-line telephones, fax machines, personal computer.  Ability to use Microsoft Office Suite. Must be able to lift a minimum of 20 lbs.  Must be able to handle all aspects of position in a positive, professional, timely, and efficient manner.  Ability to interact in social settings and varied situations.  Music education background or currently studying music education preferred but not required.

Hours: 10 hours per week minimum.

Wage: Unpaid; College credit negotiable

Box Office/Admin Intern

This internship is an ideal position for those interested in exploring a position in an orchestral and/or nonprofit setting. The Intern will work closely with all APO staff and provide support. Duties include general clerical, receptionist and project based work.

QUALIFICATIONS

Education: High school diploma or GED.

Experience: Previous experience in an office setting preferred.

Knowledge, skills and abilities: Knowledge of standard office practices. Excellent customer service skills. Excellent verbal and written communication skills. Ability to work independently and take initiative when appropriate. Writing/proofreading skills and an understanding of the English language (both written and oral) are required. Ability to use standard office equipment such as copy machines, multi-line telephones, fax machines, personal computer. Ability to use Microsoft Office Suite. Must be able to lift a minimum of 20 lbs. Must be able to handle all aspects of position in a positive, professional, timely, and efficient manner. Ability to interact in social settings and varied situations. Music background a plus, but not required.

HOW TO APPLY:

Email your resume and cover letter to info@abilenephilharmonic.org with “Intern” in the subject line.

Please include the following information in the cover letter:

• Availability
• How you learned of the position
• Description of how your qualifications and experience match Abilene Philharmonic’s needs.

Please see our auditions page for
information on musician openings.

The 2020-2021 season marks Maestro David Itkin’s 16th season as Music Director and Conductor of the Abilene Philharmonic, and his 13th year serving as Professor of Music and Director of Orchestral Studies at the University of North Texas College of Music, where his recent performances have included Mahler Symphony No. 4, the Verdi Requiem, Beethoven Symphony No. 9, and Puccini’s Turandot with the UNT Grand Chorus, and Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen with the UNT Opera Theatre. During the 2018-2019 season he also joined the Abilene Opera Company for Handel’s Messiah and a fully staged production of West Side Story.

Following a distinguished 17-year tenure, Maestro Itkin was named Conductor Laureate of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra in July 2010. Previously Mr. Itkin served as Music Director & Conductor of the Las Vegas Philharmonic, Artistic Director and Conductor of the McCall Summerfest in McCall, Idaho, and as Music Director & Conductor of the Lake Forest Symphony (Chicago), the Kingsport Symphony, the Birmingham Opera Theatre, and the Lucius Woods Music Festival (Wisconsin).

During past seasons Maestro Itkin’s career has taken him to 45 U.S. states and 15 countries in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, including concerts and recordings with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Slovenska Filhamonija, the San Diego Symphony, and the Seoul Philharmonic. Other guest conducting appearances include concerts with the Colorado Philharmonic, the Annapolis Symphony, the National Repertory Orchestra, the Fort Worth Symphony, the Illinois Symphony, the Delaware Symphony, the New Hampshire Symphony, the Cheyenne Symphony, and the Indianapolis, Baltimore, and Reno Chamber Orchestras. During the Summer of 2006 Maestro Itkin appeared once again with the Slovenska Filharmonija in Ljubljana, Slovenia, conducting the opening concert of the 14th World Saxophone Congress.

His book, Conducting Concerti, was released in August 2014 to considerable critical acclaim. Leonard Slatkin called Conducting Concerti “a valuable textbook for the aspiring Maestro” and “highly recommended”, and Samuel Adler wrote that it is “an invaluable addition to the world of conducting textbooks.”

Mr. Itkin’s first film score (“Sugar Creek”) was recorded in 2006 by the Arkansas Symphony for the film’s 2007 release. His most recent major work, “Exodus”, an oratorio, was premiered in April 2005 in Little Rock, with William Shatner narrating. “Exodus” was released worldwide on CD in 2007.

In May 2009 Maestro Itkin was awarded both an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by Lyon College and the Above the Barre award by Ballet Arkansas.

In addition to his professional schedule, Maestro Itkin regularly serves as a guest conductor/clinician, including concerts with the Arkansas All-State Orchestra, the Southern California High School Honors Orchestra, the Maine All-State Orchestra, the Las Vegas Senior Honors Orchestra, and several Texas all-region Honors Orchestras.

Also in demand as a speaker and lecturer, Mr. Itkin has been asked to lecture for a wide variety of organizations, including SilverSea cruise lines, two consecutive years as a featured lecturer for the Arkansas Governor’s School, the Texas Association of Symphony Orchestras, and a keynote address at the National Federation of Music Clubs national conference.

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