Virginia Symphony Orchestra Administration

Executive
Staff

Karen Philion

President and CEO
More Info

Orchestra
Activities

Christina Havens

Vice President of Orchestra Activities
757-213-1421

Rodney Martell

Artistic Administrator
757-572-3757

Paula Bonds

Assistant Librarian
757-213-1407

Rebekah Geiselman

Education and Community Engagement Manager
757-213-1438

Alex Partow

Production/Stage Manager
757-729-2508

Jim Nesbit

Orchestra Personnel Manager
757-729-2251

Salvatore Parillo

Operations Manager
757-641-5801

Carl Wilder

Principal Librarian
757-213-1408

Development

Elizabeth Baroody

Vice President of Development
757-213-1419

Linda Dyer

Director of Development
757-213-1412

Rachel Keene

Development Communications Associate
757-213-1415

Finance

Teresa Kraus

Chief Financial Officer
757-213-1437

Beth Hammes

Payroll, Benefits, and Accounts Payable Manager
757-213-1409

Marketing and
Public Relations

Monica Meyer

Vice President of Marketing, Sales and Public Relations
757-213-1431

Peyton Carter

Manager of Digital Media Strategies and Patron Loyalty
757-213-1420

Kristen Kiekel

Manager of Volunteers and Patron Engagement
757-213-1411

Patron
Services

Averi Kasecamp

Patron Services Coordinator
757-213-1414

Brooke Angelique Bates

Call Room Manager
757-213-1423

Joe Bernard

House Manager and Volunteer Coordinator

Artistic
Staff

JoAnn Falletta

Music Director

Robert Shoup

Chorus Master and Staff Conductor

Ray Landon

Chorus Manager

Shostakovich Five • 5/8-5/10

Shostakovich Five • 5/8-5/10

Friday, May 8, 2020 | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk | 8PMSaturday, May 09, 2020 | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News | 8PMSunday, May 10, 2020 | Sandler Center for the Arts, Virginia Beach | 2:30PM Hailed by The New York Times as “an interpretive dynamo,” conductor...

The Music of Star Wars • 6/5

The Music of Star Wars • 6/5

Friday, June 5, 2020 | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk | 7:30PM Back by popular demand, the Virginia Symphony Orchestra will perform music from the iconic film franchise Star Wars. Experience the entire saga through the films’ scores written by the legendary John Williams,...

CommUNITY Play-In and Sing-Along • 9/13

CommUNITY Play-In and Sing-Along • 9/13

Sunday, September 13, 2020 | Scope Arena, Norfolk | 4PM Pick up your instrument, bring your voice and join the Virginia Symphony Orchestra in a celebration of peace, inclusion and unity. This inspiring annual event embraces our community’s cultural richness and...

Karen M. Philion

As the President & CEO of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Karen Philion brings a wealth of experience across a broad spectrum of arts and cultural assignments to her position. Karen has significant experience in strategic planning, fundraising and marketing, believes passionately in the ability of the arts to connect people, and credits her management success to a radically open and highly collaborative leadership style.

While earning her graduate degree at the University of Mississippi, Karen joined the editing team of the Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, hailed by the Washington Post as an invaluable guide to southern life, culture & history. Contributing more than twenty entries, her work includes articles on subjects as diverse as the Tidewater coastal region, to musical legends Patsy Cline and Dizzy Gillespie. From Mississippi, Karen headed north where she managed the day-to-day operations of a 28-member station statewide public radio network—the Alaska Public Radio Network. Major highlights there included successful initiatives with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Education.

Karen joined the orchestra industry at the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, where she planned and implemented all marketing and fundraising activities for this statewide touring orchestra in 26 communities. She also helped create a statewide network of regional boards, an important mechanism that supported and positioned that VSO as a popular and successful attraction for residents and thousands of tourists throughout the state.

As Director of Development for the Buffalo Philharmonic, Karen was recruited as part of a new senior management team to secure and rebuild the Orchestra’s fundraising efforts by growing support for expanded programming, world-class artists, and critical stabilization initiatives – including the appointment of the orchestra’s then new music director – JoAnn Falletta. During her tenure, the BPO enjoyed three consecutive years of record-breaking fundraising, which represented more than 60% of all income. In 2011 Karen was recruited to the Virginia Symphony as VP of Development, during which time contributed income increased over three years by twenty percent.

Since being named CEO in 2015, Karen has led the VSO in a transformative long-range planning process which is transforming the organization and challenging the idea of what a 21st century orchestra can mean to our community. She has assembled a dynamic team, created innovative community partnerships, and launched new strategic initiatives to provide support and opportunity to the VSO’s musicians as they engage and enhance our community through the performance of live symphonic music.

A member of the 2017 CIVIC Leadership Class, Karen spends her spare time with her family: two daughters, Laura and Libby, and her husband Tom Philion, another arts management veteran.