.Santa Cruz Symphony’s Executive Director Steps Down

The Santa Cruz Symphony is hanging out a “help wanted” sign as it begins a search for a new executive director.

The symphony’s board announced this week that Dorothy Wise, who has held the executive director role since 2016, is leaving the position to join tech startup Mesh Communities with her daughter Jess Wise.

Linda Burroughs, the symphony’s board president, said in a statement that Wise has been wonderful “during a time of tremendous growth for the orchestra.”

“She has been instrumental in leading the symphony to artistic and financial success over the past five years, and is a valued member of our symphony family,” Burroughs said.

Wise has been involved in the administration of the symphony for nearly 30 years, serving as board president twice before taking on the executive director job.

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The new executive director will have to work with music director and conductor Daniel Stewart in planning a return to a traditional symphony season in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In April, the Symphony announced its upcoming 2020-21 season after it had cancelled its performances in March, April, and May. Its annual Pops concert, also cancelled, was to take place on June 6.

The Symphony is scheduling concerts for the fall for its 63rd season, but it is also designing a digital series in case some or all of those concerts cannot be held, Stewart said in a statement.

“We remain hopeful that we will be able to resume our regularly scheduled live concerts at some point in our coming season, depending on how the next several months unfold,” Stewart said.

A search committee has been formed to fill the executive director vacancy. The deadline for applications is June 30.

For details on the position, and for more on the upcoming season, go to santacruzsymphony.org.


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