Salisbury Symphony names new executive director

Published 12:13 pm Monday, June 12, 2017

James Dane Harvey has been appointed executive director of the Salisbury Symphony, taking over from Linda Jones, who retires after 14 years in the role.

Harvey started his new job June 1, joining the symphony team that includes music director David Hagy; education director Lynn Bowes; Jordan Warren, assistant to the executive director; and Hunter Safrit, administrative assistant.

Harvey, a Rowan County native, has spent his entire academic and professional career in the performing arts. He lived in London for more than 10 years working on public relations and marketing campaigns for high-profile artists, entertainment organizations and West End musicals.

He also served as managing director of Yale Opera at Yale University and as production coordinator for Central City Opera, a summer opera festival in Colorado.

Harvey earned a bachelor of music degree at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts; a master of arts degree in cultural policy and arts administration at Goldsmiths College, University of London; and a master of philosophy degree in arts, culture and education from the University of Cambridge, where his research thesis focused on the popularization of classical music.

“I’ve known Dane since he was a teenager performing with the Piedmont Players,” says Hagy. “The thing I remember most about him was his passion for music and theater. Although he is a bit older than when we first knew each other, his passion is undiminished. In fact, I’d say he’s more energized about music, specifically wanting to engage the broadest possible audience with this art form. I look forward to working with him again.”

“In January, we launched a statewide search for our next executive director, and the caliber of applicants was very high,” says John Brincefield, chairman of the Salisbury Symphony board. We were fortunate to find someone with world-class experience and energy right on our doorstep. James’ appointment was a unanimous decision. The entire board knows there are exciting times ahead for this organization, and he has our total support.”

“It is an honor to be able to serve the SSO by helping bring music to the residents of Rowan County and the entire region,” says Harvey. “This organization has such incredible potential for making an impact in the state’s music scene, and I look forward to working with Maestro Hagy and the entire SSO team. I encourage everyone reading this to get involved with music and join us at the SSO.”

The Salisbury Symphony’s 50th anniversary season saw audience figures increase, revenue generated through donations and growth in ticket sales.

Hagy, who is in his 29th year as music director, led the orchestra in a range of contemporary and classic masterpieces. Highlights included the commissioning and orchestral premiere of three compositions by Kyle Petty; piano performances by Frederic Chiu and Nate Beversluis; the North Carolina premiere of “Dreamtime Ancestors” by Christopher Theofanidis; and Verdi’s “Requiem,” featuring a 180-member choir and nationally recognized soloists.

This is in addition to the popular “Nutcracker” and annual Pops at the Post concert, which drew a record audience of more than 4,000 people in 2016.

The symphony’s 51st season begins July 1 and includes a program of four performances by the orchestra featuring works by Bach, Brahms, Beethoven, Dvorak and Darrell Harwood (hence the theme “Pushing the Envelope”).

Tickets and information can be found online at Call the symphony office at 704-637-4314 for a copy of the season brochure. You can also find the Salisbury Symphony on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.