Abilene, TX—The Abilene Philharmonic Association is pleased to announce the appointment of a new Executive Director. Gerard Gibbs comes with a wide background in orchestra management, theater management and a career as a professional oboist. As a player of baroque and classical oboes he performed with Baroque Orchestras of Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Vancouver, Calgary and the Waverly Consort. From 2002 to 2014 he played utility oboe with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra in Alberta, Canada where he also co-founded the Fort MacLeod international Chamber Music Festival with the distinguished violist, Rivka Golani. During that time, he guided the full range of performing arts programs of the Empress Theater to national and international attention in addition to forming a long-term partnership with the tribal leaders of the Piikani and Piegan Blackfoot Nations.
Gerard has also worked with the Akron Symphony Orchestra, Reno Chamber Orchestra, Nevada Chamber Music Festival, the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra and recently New Spire Arts in Frederick, Maryland. Gerard is delighted to make Abilene his new home with his wife, seven-year-old son, and their dog, a Komondor.
He will begin his work on August 15th, 2022. “I am very pleased,” said Gerard “to have the opportunity to work once more with David Itkin and to further build on what he and my immediate predecessor, Kevin Smith–along with the Board of Directors–have established in your wonderful community. Abilene can be proud to have such an outstanding orchestra in their city. I look forward to getting to know the players, the audience and the full range of people and places in and around Abilene.”
Gibbs’s appointment comes after a nation-wide search. Dr. Greg Straughn, APO Board member and chair of the search committee noted that “we had a strong slate of applicants from across the country – a testament to the Philharmonic’s quality, stability, and the artistic excellence Maestro Itkin brings to the music making and reputation of the orchestra.” Mandy Gollihar, Board president, said that the orchestra “is in a good position in the community, with engaged audiences and strong financial support. Mr. Gibbs is the right person to lead us forward in realizing the next phase of great music-making for Abilene and the Big Country.”