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Search Under Way for New RPO President and CEO

February 19, 2007

Search committee named; executive search firm H. C. Smith Ltd. is hired

Rochester, NY– The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra now has all the elements in place for its President and CEO search and is moving forward in a timely manner.  A search committee has been formed by RPO Board Chair Jim Boucher comprised of nine representatives of all RPO constituents: board (Betsy Rice, Suzanne Welch, Keith Wilson and Boucher), orchestra (principal tuba Craig Sutherland), conductors (Music Director Christopher Seaman and Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik) and administrative staff (current President Richard Nowlin and VP of Development Janet Newcomb).  Overseeing the search will be the nationally recognized executive search firm H.C. Smith Ltd. of Shaker Heights, Ohio, with a proven record of providing clients with talented leadership in a variety of disciplines including arts organizations and orchestras.  Arts clients have included The Cleveland Orchestra, the Ojai (CA) Music Festival, the Cleveland Museum of Art and the National Symphony.

“We are fully on track with the search process,” says Boucher.  “We are in an excellent position both financially and artistically to attract the highest level of candidates for this position. The RPO’s strategic plan – the result of our visioning process – has given us a clear direction, and we are incredibly optimistic about finding the right candidate who will join us as we move into the future.”

Mr. Nowlin will be leaving his RPO post at the end of March to become Executive Director of the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts in Santa Rosa, California. Until a permanent replacement is appointed, Boucher has named VP of Development Janet Newcomb as interim President and CEO, effective March 19. 

Now in its 84th season, the RPO inspires and enriches the community through the art of music.  The Orchestra is passionately dedicated to outstanding musical performance at the highest artistic levels, and has a unique tradition of musical versatility, commitment to music education in the broadest sense and a deep and enduring engagement with the community.  The RPO has been honored with the New York State Governor’s Arts Award, and two recent ASCAP awards for adventurous programming.           

A complete job description can be found on the RPO web site.               

Note: A digital photo of Ms. Newcomb is available upon request.



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