Bethel Balge of the Mankato Symphony Orchestra Selected to Attend League of American Orchestras’ Flagship Essentials of Orchestra Management Program in New York City

    July 18th, 2022

    League’s Ten-Day Professional Development Program Will Take Place at Juilliard’s Lincoln Center Campus

    Mankato, MN – Bethel Balge, Executive Director of the Mankato Symphony Orchestra is among a select cohort of 35 orchestra and arts professionals chosen from the United States and Canada to participate in Essentials of Orchestra Management, the League of American Orchestras’ premier leadership development program. The ten-day seminar, running from July 24-August 2, 2022, is presented in collaboration with Juilliard Extension and will take place in New York at Juilliard’s Lincoln Center Campus.

    “These talented professionals are the future of our field–I’m so pleased our brilliant faculty will provide them with a rich in-person experience on the Juilliard campus this year,” said League of American Orchestras President and CEO Simon Woods, the former director of Essentials of Orchestra Management. “In addition to offering the cohort the opportunity to build life-long professional friendships among their peers, the Essentials curriculum will give them the full perspective on what it takes to run an orchestra. We’re honored to uphold the program’s rich legacy of developing our future orchestra leaders.”

    America’s flagship program for early- and mid-career orchestra and arts professionals, Essentials of Orchestra Management offers a pathway to future leadership and career success; since its inception in 2000, over 500 individuals have participated in the program. Now in its 22nd year, Essentials connects, inspires, and challenges tomorrow’s leaders, providing them the knowledge they need to enhance their careers.

    Topics will include artistic planning and artistic leadership models; development and strategic planning; equity, diversity, and inclusion; education, community engagement, and community programs; human resources and organizational culture; leadership and governance; marketing and communications; and negotiations. The seminar also includes a concert and tour of Carnegie Hall, and peer discussion and mentoring opportunities.

    This year’s seminar is taught and directed by a faculty comprised of master leaders of the orchestra field and beyond, including:

    Core Faculty:

    • Scott Faulkner (Seminar Director) Principal Bassist, Reno Phil & Reno Chamber Orchestra; Former Executive Director, Reno Chamber Orchestra; Director, League Alumni Network
    • Jennifer Barlament, Executive Director, Atlanta Symphony
    • Alex Laing, Principal Clarinetist, The Phoenix Symphony

    League Leadership:

    • Simon Woods, President and CEO
    • Caen Thomason-Redus, VP, Inclusion and Learning
    • David Styers, Director, Learning and Leadership Programs

    Juilliard Leadership:

    • John-Morgan Bush, Dean of Juilliard Extension, The Juilliard School

    Guest Faculty:

    • Lisa Brown Alexander, President and CEO, Nonprofit HR
    • Astrid Baumgardner, President, Astrid Baumgardner Coaching + Training Deborah Borda, President and CEO, New York Philharmonic
    • Rosina Cannizzaro, Executive Director, Vermont Youth Orchestra Association Patrick Castillio, VP Artistic Planning, NY Phil
    • Dan Coleman, Crypto Fundraising Strategist, The Giving Block; Former Senior Director of Development, San Francisco Symphony
    • Rosalie Contreras, VP of Public Affairs, The Juilliard School
    • Clive Gillinson, Executive and Artistic Director, Carnegie Hall
    • Gary Ginstling, Executive Director, National Symphony Orchestra
    • Doug Hagerman, Board Chair, League of American Orchestras
    • Sarah Johnson, Chief Education Officer, Carnegie Hall
    • Joe Kluger, Principal, WolfBrown
    • Lee Koonce, President and Artistic Director, Gateways Music Festival
    • Eun Lee, Founder and Executive Director, The Dream Unfinished: An Activist Orchestra
    • Najean Lee, Director, Government Affairs & Advocacy, League of American Orchestras
    • Marlah Bonner-McDuffie, VP of Development, League of American Orchestras
    • Anwar Nasir, Executive Director, Louisiana Philharmonic
    • Heather Noonan, VP, Advocacy, League of American Orchestras
    • Gary Padmore, Director, Education and Community Engagement, New York Philharmonic
    • Doris Parent, VP of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access Strategies (IDEAS) and Strategic Partnerships
    • Faith Raiguel, Former CFO, LA Opera; Board Member: Idyllwild Arts, Silk Road, Street Symphony
    • Lesley Rosenthal, COO & Corporate Secretary, The Juilliard School; Former EVP/Executive Counsel & Secretary, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts Alexa Smith, Assistant VP and Chief of Staff, Manhattan School of Music
    • David Snead, President and CEO, Handel + Haydn Society
    • Bill Thomas, Senior VP and COO, New York Philharmonic
    • Joshua Worby, Executive and Artistic Director, Westchester Philharmonic
    • Karen Yair, VP, Research and Resources, League of American Orchestras
    • Michelle Zwi, Operations and Touring Manager, Philadelphia Orchestra • Executive Director, Penn Med Symphony

    The 2022 Essentials of Orchestra Management cohort includes:

    • Bethel Balge, Executive Director, Mankato Symphony Orchestra Association Inc.
    • Anthony Barbir, Deputy Director, Silkroad
    • Erica Cherry, Executive Director, Youth Orchestra of Bucks County
    • Charity Clark, Development Director, New Haven Symphony Orchestra
    • Marie-Claude Codsi, Coordinator, Education, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal
    • Danny Cordero, Finance Associate & Digital Content Producer, Spokane Symphony
    • Jenny Darlington-Person, Executive Director, Music in the Mountains
    • Timothy Dillow, Director, Corporate Relations, Houston Symphony
    • Michael Dwinell, Orchestral Studies Associate, Keston MAX Project Manager (MAW), Juilliard and Music Academy of the West
    • Kristen Flock-Ritchie, Programming Manager, Los Angeles Philharmonic Association
    • Alexander Fruin, Director, CCS Fundraising
    • Phil Gutierrez, Production Manager, New York Philharmonic
    • John Haverkamp, Director of Development, Omaha Symphony Association
    • Jennifer Hermann, Executive Director, Olympia Symphony Orchestra
    • Ana Jaquim, Director of Marketing & Digital Productions, Chamber Music Detroit
    • Samantha Johnson-Helms, Executive Director & Principal Clarinet, Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra
    • Erin Jones, Director of Sales, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
    • Allison Lambacher, Senior Manager of Classical Marketing & Analytics, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
    • Margaret Liu, Assistant Manager, Corporate Relations, John F. Kennedy Center of the Performing Arts
    • William Loder, Senior Individual Giving Manager, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
    • Evander Louis, Manager of Community Programs, Orchestra of St. Luke’s
    • Brooke Mead, Orchestra Personnel Assistant, The Cleveland Orchestra
    • Alfredo Muňoz, MBA Candidate at Questrom School of Business, Boston University; Corporate Relations Manager, Boston Ballet
    • Ted Nelson, Section Cello; Board of Directors, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
    • David Nuss, Executive Director, Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra
    • Julie Nystedt, Assistant Vice President and Assistant General Manager, Grand Rapids Symphony
    • Keith Obaza, Vice President of Production, The Philly POPS
    • Samuel Phillips, Director, Access & Civic Engagement | Stage Management | Director of Operations, Minnesota Opera Company | Minnesota Opera Company | Lake George Music Festival
    • Jessica Phillips, Musician / Educator / Advocate, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra | Juilliard + MSM | Local 802
    • Terrell Pierce, Director of Operations, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
    • Sophie Press, Assistant Manager, NSO Individual Giving, National Symphony Orchestra – Kennedy Center
    • Anna Rybicki, Executive Director, Chippewa Valley Symphony
    • Jason Stasiuk, Manager, Artistic Operations, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra
    • Benjamin Tisherman, Manager of Orchestra Personnel, Detroit Symphony Orchestra
    • Stephanie Yoon, Artistic Operations Manager, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

    Hashtag: #Essentials2022

    Essentials of Orchestra Management is made possible, in part, by grants from the Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

    About the Mankato Symphony Orchestra

    The Mankato Symphony Orchestra was organized in 1950 by the local Musicians Union, the State Teacher’s College, Gustavus Adolphus College and the Mankato Public Schools. The organization became a nonprofit corporation in the 1970s. The mission of the Mankato Symphony Orchestra is to celebrate classical music through public presentation, to promote arts education by introducing the children of our community to the wonders of orchestral and choral music, to make such music accessible to all residents, and to contribute vital energy to regional economic development and cultural tourism. The MSO’s new Music Director and Conductor Ernesto Estigarribia is a recent DMA graduate of the University of Minnesota. Hailed for his “expert direction” by the Fanfare magazine, Paraguayan conductor Ernesto Estigarribia is highly regarded for his versatility and effervescent energy on and off the podium.

    About the League of American Orchestras

    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 orchestras 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