Virginia Symphony Orchestra Administration

Executive
Staff

Karen Philion

President and CEO
More Info

Lofton Riser Barnes

Executive Assistant
757-213-1406

Orchestra
Activities

Christina Havens

Vice President of Orchestra Activities
(757) 213-1421

Carolyn Dunn-Buying

Education & Community Engagement Manager
757-213-1438

Rodney Martell

Artistic Administrator
(757) 572-3757

Eva Hagan

Operations Manager
(757) 641-5801

Alex Partow

Production/Stage Manager
757-729-2508

Jim Nesbit

Orchestra Personnel Manager
(757) 729-2251

Carl Wilder

Principal Librarian
(757) 213-1408

Paula Bonds

Assistant Librarian
(757) 213-1407

Development

Elizabeth Baroody

Vice President of Development
757-213-1419

Emily Barnhill

Senior Director of Development
757-213-1412

Lauren Pifer

Development Coordinator
757-213-1417

Finance

Teresa Kraus

Chief Financial Officer
(757) 213-1437

Cindy Oliver

Accountant
(757) 213-1409

Marketing and
Public Relations

Monica Meyer

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

Derek Allen Page

Manager of Advertising, Public Relations, and Social Media
(757) 213-1420

Hannah Baumer

Manager of Marketing and Volunteer Resources
(757) 213-1411

Patron
Services

Robert Belford

Manager of Patron Services & Sales
(757) 213-1413

Beverly Kippenhan

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

Gonzalo Farias

Assistant Conductor

Robert Shoup

Chorus Master and Staff Conductor

Ray Landon

Chorus Manager

Handel’s Messiah • 12/13 – 12/15

Thursday, December 13, 2018 | Regent University, Virginia Beach | 8PM Friday, December 14, 2018 | First Baptist Church, Newport News | 8PM Saturday, December 15, 2018 | Harrison Opera House, Norfolk | 8PM Join the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and VSO Chorus...

Holiday Brass • 12/12-12/16

Wednesday, December 12, 2018 | Chesapeake Conference Center, Chesapeake | 7PM Friday, December 14, 2018 | St. Bede Catholic Church, Williamsburg | 8PM Saturday, December 15, 2018 | Regent University Chapel, Virginia Beach | 7PM Sunday, December 16, 2018 |...

Holiday Pops! • 12/20 – 12/22

Thursday, December 20, 2018 | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News | 8PM Friday, December 21, 2018 | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk | 8PM Saturday, December 22, 2018 | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach | 8PM Join us for the must-see...

Jingle Bell Jam • 12/22

Saturday, December 22 | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach | 3PM Santa Claus is coming to town and he’s stopping by to be a part of the VSO’s ever-popular Jingle Bell Jam! Celebrate the magic of the season with an afternoon that showcases the music...

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.