Virginia Symphony Orchestra Administration


Karen Philion

President and CEO
More Info

Stephanie Harron

Executive Assistant and Secretary to the Board
(757) 213-1406


Christina Havens

Director of Orchestra Activities
(757) 213-1421

Jim Nesbit

Orchestra Personnel Manager
(757) 729-2251

James Justice

Education and Community Engagment Manager

Eva Hagan

Operations Manager
(757) 641-5801

Carl Wilder

Principal Librarian
(757) 213-1408

BA Ciccolella

Artist Liaison

Andrew Nissman

Grant Writer
(757) 213-1403

Rodney Martell

Artistic Administrator
(757) 572-3757

Paula Bonds

Assistant Librarian
(757) 213-1407

Joe Bernard

House Manager and Volunteer Coordinator


Brittany Lavalleur

Director of Development
(757) 213-1412

Kate Powell

Development Manager
(757) 213-1417


Teresa Kraus

Chief Financial Officer
(757) 213-1437

Daryl Clark

Accounting Manager
(757) 213-1409

Marketing and
Public Relations

Monica Meyer

Director of Marketing
(757) 213-1431

Derek Allen Page

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

Hannah Baumer

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


Jonathan Sanford

Patron Services Manager
(757) 213-1413

Brooke Angelique Bates

Call Room Manager
(757) 213-1423

Hannah Murphy

Group Sales
(757) 213-1436


JoAnn Falletta

Music Director

Ray Landon

Chorus Manager

Benjamin Rous

Resident Conductor

Robert Shoup

Chorus Master and Staff Conductor

The Best of Wagner’s Ring Cycle • 10/20-10/22

Friday, October 20, 2017 | 8PM | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News Saturday, October 21, 2017 | 8PM | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk Sunday, October 22, 2017 | 2:30PM | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach Wagner’s 15-hour Ring Cycle is to opera...

Halloween Spooktacular • 10/29

Sunday, October 29, 2017 | 3 PM | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts Dress up in your favorite Halloween costume and join Robert Shoup and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra for a ghoulish afternoon of monstrous fun! The Orchestra will perform some of the spookiest...

From the Music of Bach to the Reformation Symphony • 11/3-11/5

Friday, November 3, 2017| 8PM | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News Saturday, November 4, 2017 | 8PM | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk Sunday, November 5, 2017| 2:30PM | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach We mark the 500th Anniversary of the...

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2 • 11/9 & 11/11

Thursday, November 9, 2017 | 8PM | Crosswalk Community Church, Williamsburg Saturday, November 11, 2017 | 8PM | Regent University, Virginia Beach The second installment of the series begins with Hungarian composer Zoltán Kodály’s Dances of Galanta. Kodály based the...

Karen M. Philion

President & CEO

As the new 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 new position. While Karen has significant experience in planning, fundraising, marketing and administrative work, she credits her management success to identifying resources and matching them to organizational needs.

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 Dizzie 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, BPO enjoyed three consecutive years of record-breaking fundraising campaigns, which represented more than 60% of all income.  Karen was recruited to the Virginia Symphony as VP of Development in 2011, where her relationship building and collaborative style resulted in increased contributed income over three years by twenty percent.  Karen was asked to serve as interim President & CEO last September, and was appointed formally to the position by the VSO Board of Directors in January 2015.

Karen spends her spare time with her family: two daughters, Laura and Libby, and her husband Tom Philion, another arts management veteran.