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Q: So, Kevin  what’s your backstory?

Kevin: I grew up in Bloomington (just 20 minutes west of Redlands) where I was heavily involved in the performing arts. Following in the footsteps of my high school band director, I attended the University of Redlands for my bachelor’s degree. After getting my bachelor’s degree in 2007, I taught in California and Arizona until 2011 when I came back to Redlands to get my master’s degree and assist with the 2013 International Double Reed Society Convention.

From 2013–2015, I was working toward my doctorate at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where I became the first person in the school’s history to obtain the Doctorate in Bassoon. I stayed on working in Las Vegas for a bit before a brief period working in Florida. Then, after a very positive interview experience, I came back to Redlands for this role.

Q: Rumor has it that this is not your first time working for the Redlands Symphony. Is that true?

Kevin: It is true! When I was getting my master’s degree, I also joined the Symphony staff, managing the box office and education programs. In fact, former President & CEO Paul Ideker was my first boss who wasn’t a school principal!

Q: Have you worked for any other arts organizations?

Kevin: When I was in the last year of my doctorate at UNLV, I was fortunate enough to join the team at the Las Vegas Philharmonic as Orchestra Personnel Manager. Once I graduated (and had more time to devote to the Philharmonic), I became the Director of Operations and Education.

In this role, I oversaw not only the management of the musicians, but all of the education and community outreach programs, the finance and human resources departments, and was the management liaison with Donato Cabrera, the Philharmonic’s music director. During the pandemic, my husband had a career opportunity presented to him which took us out to Florida. In Florida, I joined the staff of Palm Beach Opera as Education & Community Engagement Manager.

Kevin performing chamber music in a trio.
Kevin performing the "Trio Botanica" by Mark Robson with bassoonists Dr. Carolyn Beck (right) and Margaret Phillips at the 2019 International Double Reed Society Conference in Tampa, FL.

Q: What are some of your favorite musical experiences?

Kevin: As an administrator, I get to experience really cool things from a unique, behind-the-scenes perspective. In Las Vegas, I planned the entertainment for a large corporate event every year at Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum at the Venetian Resort.

We brought a small string orchestra, wind quintet, and brass quintet to the museum to play arrangements of pop songs, orchestral standards, and other fun mixes. My favorite year as when it was superhero themed–just something about hearing a wind quintet play the theme from Ant Man for six hours was really fun.

As a musician, I’ve had a lot of fun and memorable experiences, including playing for Weird Al Yankovic, The Kingdom Hearts video game tour, and in orchestras for soloists like Lisa Vroman, Liang Wang, Rita Moreno, Joyce Yang, Alexi Kenny, and other up-and-coming soloists. I also play a lot of chamber music, which is probably my favorite genre of instrumental music.

Q: What attracted you to Redlands and, specifically, the Redlands Symphony?

Kevin: Aside from my personal connection to the town and orchestra, there is something uniquely profound about Redlands as a community. It’s a small community with a big presence and so much neighborly activity. Being a part of a community that is so supportive of the performing and visual arts is such a gift, both as a resident and as an arts leader.

Redlands Symphony, too, is such a beloved institution within the community and I was so attracted to the mission and responsibility of the Symphony to its neighbors in town. Redlands is also poised as a great gateway community for developing instrumental music fans in several geographic areas which only strengthens our own community experiences as well.

Q: What are some of your goals as an arts administrator? How do you see those playing out at the Redlands Symphony?

Kevin: The easy answer, of course, is “more people in the hall for concerts.” But I think that is a by-product of having people-centered goals. As an arts leader, I strive to ensure our musicians, patrons, staff, donors, and neighbors we have yet to meet feel included and like they have a place at the Redlands Symphony.

RSO does a wonderful job at innovative programming and community-focused outreach. That environment really lends itself well to continuing to support people-oriented goals like access, inclusion, and community building.

Q: Last question (and this one is tough) — what concert are you most looking forward to in the 22/23 season?

Kevin: I do have an affinity for French music (my dissertation was on the chamber music of Francis Poulenc) so the Vive la France concert on May 13th, 2023 stands out. I’m also really excited that Redlands Symphony is commissioning new works like Lilya Ugay’s Status Pending on March 11, 2023. But, honestly, every concert has something I’m enthusiastic about. What a great season we should all be a part of!

Do you have questions of your own for Kevin? Send us a message or chat with us on Facebook.

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