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MSO executive director leaving

July 09, 2002|by Liz Boch

lizb@herald-mail.com

Although Marc Levy, executive director of the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, is leaving his post, he said he will attend performances as an audience member.

"I will be back," he said. "There are concerts I want to see."

After a seven-year run, Levy will move to western New York at the end of August, and said he will miss working with the staff.

"This has been a wonderful experience," the 42-year-old Levy said.

Levy's wife, Kate, accepted a position as an assistant professor of music education at the State University of New York in Fredonia. She is leaving her job as music coordinator of Hagerstown Community College's continuing education program.

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"Her dream has always been to teach at the college level," Levy said. "Working here would make for a long commute."

Levy actively participated in his high school orchestra and eventually earned his bachelor's degree in music and arts administration at Northwestern University and his master's degree in arts administration at the University of Wisconsin.

"I was doing work study in Northwestern's concert hall," he said. "That's where I fell in love with music management."

Levy came to the MSO after managing orchestras in Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin. His duties include marketing, fund-raising and financing Masterworks, youth programs and special events. Levy said the orchestra's prominence has expanded since his first year.

"Our orchestra is excellent and people are looking for excellent entertainment," he said. "We sell out two holiday concerts and our pops concert. We more than sold out our youth concerts."

Called Kinder Konzerts, the children's shows held at the Valley Mall for fourth-graders began under Levy's leadership. Board President Marjorie Hobbs said the children responded well.

"We had a couple hundred little kiddies sitting on the floor listening to the families of the orchestra," Hobbs said.

Levy also added a second holiday concert, a family concert and a performance at Hagerstown Community College to the calendar and increased fund-raising and ticket sales.

In conjunction with Maryland Public Television, Levy produced "Music to My Ears," an educational video about orchestral arrangement.

"We were able to extend our outreach to different areas," he said. "We try to be more than a traditional orchestra. We do that more than well, but we want to break out."

Administrative Assistant Carolyn Reed said she is sorry to see Levy go.

"The symphony has grown so much," Reed said. "He expects a lot of his employees, but he gives a lot. He's a great friend."

Hobbs said a search committee is actively looking to fill Levy's post.

"We want to continue his educational programs," she said. "We hope to find someone of his caliber."

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