Heading into the organization’s 70th Anniversary Season, the Idaho Falls Symphony has announced a 3-year contract extension for their Music Director, Dr. Thomas Heuser.
“Thank you to the entire Idaho Falls Symphony community for your continued love and support,” said Heuser in a statement. “We have such a fantastic orchestra, I am grateful to each and every musician for their time and talents because without their hard work and dedication, none of this would be possible. We have so much to look forward to next season and beyond; it is an honor to be your music director.”
Dr. Heuser has served as Music Director of the Idaho Falls Symphony since 2011 and is the organization’s 10th music director. Currently he is also the conductor of the San Juan Symphony, a regional orchestra serving the Four Corners, based in Durango, Colorado, and Farmington, New Mexico. Thomas commutes to Idaho Falls from Durango, where he is also a regular guest conductor with the Music in the Mountains Festival Orchestra. Maestro Heuser will appear as a music director finalist with the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra in September 2019.
Along with the renewal of Heuser as music director, the Idaho Falls Symphony has begun a concerted effort to streamline the complex work that goes on behind the scenes. In 2017 the Symphony’s Board of Directors hired an outside consultant to review the organization from the perspective of audiences, musicians, staff, sponsors, and other groups with a vested interest. The review identified areas where the Symphony experience could be improved, ranging from advertising efforts to sponsor recognition, but the main recommendation was that the Symphony needed more staff to handle the myriad responsibilities of the rapidly-expanding organization.
In charge of prioritizing and implementing those recommendations is Alekzandria Peugh, the Symphony’s new Executive Director who was hired in late 2017 from the Springfield Symphony in Ohio. Under Peugh’s leadership, the Symphony has created an Education Coordinator position to administer the Symphony’s education efforts and manage the Idaho Falls Youth Symphony program. The existing positions of Personnel Manager and Production Manager have been fused into the single role of Operations Manager, the book keeping has been outsourced to a third party, and a new part-time Office Manager position has been created to focus solely on the daily interactions between the Symphony and the general public.
“There are many moving parts to any non-profit,” remarks Peugh, “and clearly the Idaho Falls Symphony has benefitted from having an incredibly dedicated staff working tirelessly to keep everything going. We want to continue to grow, and as we do, our goal is to become more efficient and to focus on improving the Symphony experience for our audiences and musicians, which is at the core of our mission.”
Several of the new staff positions have been filled and others remain open as the orchestra approaches the end of its fiscal year on June 30th. In April, the Symphony hired Johanna Groh as the new Operations Manager, who most recently served as Manager of Orchestral Activities for the prestigious Colburn School in Los Angeles. Additionally, the Symphony’s new Orchestra Librarian is Elin Williams Marquez—a native of Victor, Idaho—who studied Library Sciences at Indiana University and most recently served as Head Music Librarian for the Victoria Conservatory of Music in Victoria, British Columbia.
Auditions for new orchestra members are held every September; interested musicians should check the website for more information. Learn more about the Idaho Falls Symphony and explore our employment opportunities at www.ifsymphony.org. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.