the search process

Following Love’s announcement to step down, our Board of Directors delegated the process to a Search Committee. The Search Committee has worked over the last 3 months reviewing applications, interviewing candidates, checking references, and making some difficult decisions. We began with 55 candidates from across the country (and a few from beyond!) and have landed on The Final Four (click here to read about them).

Who did this work? Well, the Music Director Search Committee did! Our Search Committee consisted of 12 individuals that, to the best of our ability, represented multiple aspects of our organization. There was representation from each of the orchestral instrument families (including 5 principal players), a member of the Columbia Jazz Band, and representation from our Board of Directors. We also included 3 staff advisors as part of the decision-making process. The names of our committee members follow.

What happens next? The candidates will lead the orchestra and our patrons through our regular season! In addition to some guest conductors – who are not in the running for the role – we have a great season ahead of us. What’s important to us is how the candidates interact with our musicians AND our audiences. So, throughout the season we will be collecting your feedback and thoughts on who should lead the orchestra for the next chapter! That means surveys – please take a moment to complete one after each concert! – and candid discussions with a group of stakeholders, partners, funders, and others. We’ll be looking at aggregated data from the surveys as well as qualitative commentary. Please be open and honest in your assessment!

At the end of the season, the Search Committee will make a recommendation to the Board of Directors about who should become the next Music Director of the Columbia Orchestra. We hope you’ll join us for that exciting announcement – and for all the opportunities for shared music-making in the upcoming season!!! Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss out 😊

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at

Elizabeth Berman (Co-Chair)
Deborah Chen
Matt DeBeal
Ilana Heintz
Audrey Johnson
Bruce Kuehne
Paul Li
Elaine Newhall (Co-Chair)
Carl Reynolds
Melissa Sandlin
Jeff Soulen
John Zontek


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