Behind the Scenes – Meet the Staff

What makes a great team?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Both onstage and off, orchestras are filled with teams – whether it’s the brass section getting a chord tuned just right, or the stage crew calling the light cue at the exact moment the music swells, or the administrative staff who manages the business and logistics for a concert – the art of being a team is central to the art of being an orchestra.

Today, I’m excited to introduce you to the Boise Phil administrative team. This small, but mighty, crew of individuals is the creative force that works behind the scenes to make sure that our artists and audiences can focus on the music.


Cameron BrizeeCAMERON BRIZZEE
Patron Services & IT Director

I manage the box office, subscriptions, front of house, and IT for the organization.

What’s a common misconception about your job? People often assume that the Morrison Center and the Boise Phil share a ticketing system, but we are entirely separate.

What do you wish people knew about your job? The Box Office staff is here to help our patrons with any problem, big or small. Don’t be afraid to ask.

If someone aspires to have your role, what advice would you like to share with them? Be creative, flexible, and patient when solving problems! Working for an orchestra can be a very different experience day-to-day.

Favorite Boise Phil moment: Watching The Empire Strikes Back with a live orchestra!

What do you do for fun? Exploring the beauty of Idaho – hiking, biking, camping, fly fishing, etc.


AMY GRANGER
Marketing Director

I’m zealous about the design and promotion of our amazing musicians and performances.

What’s a common misconception about your job? That marketing and design are frenemies. Since I do both, it’s more like besties.

What do you wish people knew about your job? I’m not selling a product, but rather an invitation to an experience.

If someone aspires to have your role, what advice would you like to share with them? Care.

Favorite Boise Phil moment:  John Cage’s 4’33” at my first Uncorked concert.

What do you do for fun? I like to build stuff, make stuff, glue stuff, paint stuff, sand stuff, and sew stuff.


ASHLEY GILLIS
Donor Relations Specialist

I have the opportunity to work with the most talented people, organize events, and show appreciation to the many people that support and love the Boise Phil.

What do you wish people knew about your job? I wish people had the opportunity to see what the Boise Phil truly means to our community and the passion people have for music in their lives. The arts community is so important!

If someone aspires to have your role, what advice would you like to share with them? The smallest detail can be the biggest decision.

Favorite Boise Phil moment: I would have to say attending my first concert as a Boise Phil staff member – seeing our patron’s love for music and my co-workers’ dedication to the Boise Phil – really the best memory.

What do you do for fun? Anything outdoors or with my three kids – hiking, camping, and horseback riding. I also consider myself a foodie, so trying new restaurants or cooking for friends and family is the best weekend!


DAN HOWARD
Director of Operations & Education

I wrangle dates and events, some dollars and cents, for all the adults and children in the Boise Phil fam.

What do you wish people knew about your job? That I’m in a room with five tribbles, wait, 10 tribbles… I mean 45… I mean 134…. (Translation: the job is filled with many fun things that need attention and if we aren’t prepared and organized it can get out of hand.)

If someone aspires to have your role, what advice would you like to share with them? Three things; 1) never take it personally. 2) leave work at work. 3) Be grateful every day. Remember this is a really good gig – you aren’t taking enemy fire, you aren’t cleaning up fluid spills in a hospital – you get to help musicians make music.

Favorite Boise Phil moment: There’s A LOT to choose from – Star Wars. Playing the music live to the film was a literal dream come true. Radical!!!

What do you do for fun? Camping/fishing in the middle of nowhere especially when it’s deep in the mountains and surrounded by old-growth forest. That’s my heaven.


Gordon HynesGORDON HYNES
Director of Finance

I track and report the financial aspects of the orchestra.

What’s a common misconception about your job? That financial stuff is boring.

What do you wish people knew about what you do? Finance touches everything – the more information the finance department has, the better it can help all the others.

If someone aspires to have your role, what advice would you like to share with them? Learn to work with a variety of people and personality types.

Favorite Boise Phil moment: When the music director appeared on stage as superman.

What do you do for fun? I enjoy hiking, motorcycles, woodworking, fishing, writing.


Nickie SchellNICKIE SHELL
Patron Services Admin

I take care of people – be they patrons, musicians, staff, board members or just ordinary folks answering questions, directing phone calls, booking tickets, processing donations and acknowledgment letters, and any other job I can do while sitting at my desk!

What do you wish people knew about what you do? I would like people to know how much I enjoy conversing with everyone and what a great place to work this is. I love my job!

If someone aspires to have your role, what advice would you like to share with them? For someone aspiring to my job: knowing a little about a lot, enjoying meeting many different people and liking repetitive work are huge advantages.

Favorite Boise Phil moment: Working on our updated season plans for the 2020-2021 season. It was empowering to contribute and work together as a team and I’m full of excitement for the promise of a new and dynamic future.

What do you do for fun? Outside of work I enjoy grandkids, playing with fabric and yarn, reading a lot, hanging out in my garden swing watching the birds and trees, and clouds – it’s very peaceful.


Joanne TaylorJOANNE TAYLOR
Director of Advancement

I manage all aspects of charitable giving, along with our relationships with the many wonderful individuals, corporations and foundations that support our mission.

What’s a common misconception about your job? That fundraising is a glamorous and relatively simple job. There is a high degree of planning and strategy involved in fundraising, with a great need for meticulous attention to detail. It involves the management of a database and several software platforms. It also involves manual labor–for set up and tear down of events – and requires a great amount of teamwork.

What do you wish people knew about your job? It’s the toughest but most rewarding job I’ve had. I’ve developed many friendships through fundraising.

If someone aspires to have your role, what advice would you like to share with them? Study the craft. There is an art and science to fundraising. Most importantly, put people before money. It’s a people business and you must genuinely like, enjoy and have an interest in people to succeed.

Favorite Boise Phil moment: Associate Concertmaster Chia Li warming up the orchestra while Dan Howard and I came on the stage to thank our donors, all of us off cue, then laughing through what could have been an awkward moment.

What do you do for fun? Spending time with my two teenage daughters, traveling, gardening, hiking, playing piano, friends and family.


Melissa WilsonMELISSA WILSON
Librarian

I research, obtain, prepare, and distribute sheet music to musicians for our concerts, and other duties as assigned.

What’s a common misconception about your job? That it’s not a labor-intensive job. For some concerts, I may handle around 1,000 different pieces of music!

What do you wish people knew about your job? That it takes an incredible level of focus, organization, patience, and that you actually do have to be a musician to successfully perform your duties.

If someone aspires to have your role, what advice would you like to share with them? There is a lot of repetitive, and seemingly thankless work involved.

Favorite Boise Phil moment: Oh gosh – there are so many! We are so lucky to have such a wonderful orchestra, and amazing guest artists join us every season. All of our guest artists are masterful at immediately pulling the audience in. One that stands out in a really special way in my mind was Joseph Fire Crow’s performance of Jim Cocky’s “Gift of the Elk” in 2016. Joseph’s performance was transcendent, and he was able to inspire something far more than admiration and respect. He filled the entire concert hall with a sense of peace and unity that I think we rarely have the honor of experiencing.

What do you do for fun? I love playing music with my partner, Bernie. I also enjoy investing my time working on our wonderful “fixer-upper”, playing with our two cats Blu and Simon, watching our chickens Harriette and Claire futz around while I work in the yard, eating beautiful food, and having a few hiking adventures in the beautiful wilderness of Idaho.

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Have You Heard?

As we close out the month of June, I want to share a project that we’ve started here at the Boise Phil that reflects on classical music’s past with the goal of busting down stereotypes, expanding our musical experiences and making visible the people who are part of classical music history (even if you didn’t learn about them in your music history class).

The project is called: #HaveYouHeard

#HaveYouHeard introduces us to composers and their works that due to racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, and other biases have kept their voices and stories out of our concert halls and the canon of repertoire that we know and love.

Why is this important? It matters to us because throughout history people from all walks of life have shaped classical music and we want to make visible their contributions and to highlight the excellence that exists beyond what most of us know in the classical music canon. We want people who have historically been marginalized to feel empowered, seen and valued.

This week’s #HaveYouHeard playlist will focus on American composers from the LGBTQ+ community in honor of both Pride and Independence Day. From the quintessential American sounds of Bernstein and Barber to modern mavericks like Julius Eastman and Alex Temple – the LGBTQ+ community has played a critical role in shaping classical music in our country.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here to listen to the American Pride Playlist on Spotify

American Pride Playlist
Leonard Bernstein: Overture to Candide
Chrysanthe Tan: Bundle of Joy
Mari Ésabel Valverde: Darest, O Soul
Samuel Barber: Summer Music, Op. 31
Alex Temple: It’s Hard Even to Say It
Julius Eastman: Fugue No. 7
Nico Muhly: Four Studies: II. Fast Canons
Jennifer Higdon: All Things Majestic: I. Teton Range
John Corigliano: Symphony No. 1: IV. Epilogue

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Hello friends!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m Laura Reynolds, Boise Phil’s new executive director, and I’m excited to meet you!

When I drove a U-Haul out to Boise with my cats back in March, I was dreaming of a spring full of performances featuring our fabulous orchestra, master chorale and youth orchestra. But we all know what happened next.

During this period of navigating through a global pandemic and embracing a renewed movement for human rights in our country, the Boise Phil has been hard at work readying itself to share a season of music that aims to reflect our lives and the world in ways that will be more accessible than ever before.

While we put the finishing touches on our programming and get it ready to share with you all, we’re kicking off this weekly series Inside the Symphony to share more about the Boise Phil: who we are, what it’s like behind the scenes, our musical recommendations, and other thoughts about the business of an orchestra. More importantly, I want to engage in conversations with you – so if there’s a topic you want us to explore together, let me know!

As we get started, you might be wondering who I am, where I come from, and why I think the Boise Phil is the most awesome place to work. So today will be my introduction to you as we continue to practice our social distancing.

When did music become part of your life?

Music has been part of my life since before I can remember. Both my parents were musicians who met in marching band at Santa Monica College. My dad played French horn and my mom was a color guard but also played accordion in a Japanese accordion band.

Before reading words, I could read music. In elementary school I started singing in chorus and took some taiko drum lessons at my Buddhist temple. At age 10 the clarinet became my first instrument, but not for long – in band class I realized there were 16 other clarinets and just one other horn player. Being a competitive person, I realized that it would be much easier to become first chair playing the horn than playing the clarinet. It turned out to be a decision that would set the course of my life and my career in music.

Where did you go to school?

I’ve had the opportunity to study the French horn with legendary musicians both at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music and also at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. During college I was in a French horn quartet that organized community engagement concerts at shelters, hospitals and in schools – which helped me see the ways that music can bring people and ideas together to have a positive impact on the community.

Where did you work before the Boise Phil?

Prior to joining the Boise Phil in March 2020, I was the Vice President of Education & Community Engagement at the Seattle Symphony where I built community programs like the Simple Gifts initiative which addresses the region’s homelessness crisis through artmaking and service projects. I also led the development of Seattle Symphony and Benaroya Hall’s newest venue Octave 9: Raisbeck Music Center, a $6.7 million capital project, which explored the future of music through the intersection of technology, art and community engagement. In addition to my work at the Seattle Symphony, I have served on the boards of Compass Housing Alliance and WindSync and also served as co-chair of the League of American Orchestras’ Education & Community Engagement leadership committee.

What’s your vision for the future of the Boise Phil?

The Boise Phil is already an incredible organization, thanks in large part to the community here in Boise that clearly values the arts. The team of staff, musicians, and board are some of the most creative and talented people in the industry right now – and I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to be part of this organization.

The last few months have been tough and we’re still in the midst of the viral pandemic that changed life for all of us. I believe orchestras exist to reflect our time, our place, and our local communities, which feels especially important in this moment. As we are beginning to imagine what the future looks like for the Boise Phil there are some important questions that I’m asking myself: How can the Boise Phil become an active participant in civic life?

In what ways can music uniquely interpret our experience of the past year and help us heal and memorialize this important time? What intersections between art and technology will help us amplify the voices of our community? How can we create love tsunamis in our community through music and service?

What do you do when you’re not working?

I love to travel, explore new restaurants and try new recipes, spoil my cats, and ride bikes with my wife. Last summer we took an epic trip to Europe to see the Grand Depart of the Tour de France and spent a day riding our bikes from Amsterdam to The Hague.

Locally, I’m always on the lookout for scenic bike trails and sour beers. As a newbie to Boise, I welcome your recommendations!

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