(Minneapolis; July 11, 2017) – Caroline Marshall, Chair of the Board of Directors of Madeline Island Chamber Music (MICM), today announced the appointment of Susan T. Chandler as Executive Director. Chandler succeeds MICM Founder Thomas George, who has served in that position since the organization’s inception in 1985.
Chandler joins MICM from Arts Midwest, where she has served as Vice President since 2012. She joined Arts Midwest in 1986 and has held increasingly senior positions throughout her tenure.
Madeline Island Chamber Music (originally Madeline Island Music Camp) is a nonprofit music education and training organization that provides chamber music instruction and performance for exceptionally talented young musicians from across the country in an inspiring and structured residential environment on Madeline Island, the largest of the Apostle Islands in Lake Superior. As Executive Director of MICM, Chandler will be responsible for the leadership and strategic direction of the organization, and will work in close collaboration with MICM’s Board of Directors and Artistic Director Jonathan Swartz.
“We are delighted that Susan will be joining the MICM ‘family,’” Board Chair Caroline Marshall stated in making the announcement. “She has all the qualities we sought in contemplating who could take what Tom George has created over the past 30-plus years and build on its significant potential for future growth.”
“I look forward to working with Susan,” Artistic Director Jonathan Swartz added, “as we build on our rich history and expand Madeline Island Chamber Music’s contributions in the larger community.”
“I am honored to be selected as executive director for Madeline Island Chamber Music,” Chandler said. “The organization brings together music, education, and creativity in a retreat setting of unparalleled natural beauty and history – all of which I deeply value. I look forward to building on the solid foundation of my predecessor, and am thrilled for the opportunity to lead Madeline Island Chamber Music’s bright future.”
Chandler has spent the majority of her extensive career in the arts at Arts Midwest, most recently serving as its Vice President. In that capacity, she has led strategic planning; managed regional, national, and international programs; successfully raised funds from private and public sources; and been a critical member of the $6.5 million organization’s leadership. During her tenure with Minneapolis-based Arts Midwest, the organization more than tripled in size and expanded its programming exponentially. Among her achievements are the growth and expansion of the Arts Midwest Conference; the successful development of Arts Midwest Folkefest; leadership of a four-year audience engagement initiative in collaboration with the Wallace Foundation; and the establishment and ongoing partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts on such national programs as Shakespeare in American Communities, NEA Jazz Masters Live, and NEA Big Read. In recognition of her work with the NEA, she was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts Chairman’s Medal.
A native of Wisconsin, Chandler earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in piano performance from Lawrence University and the University of Wisconsin, respectively. She began her career at the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, where she worked closely with the Orchestra’s 101 professional musicians.
MICM Founding Executive Director Thomas George announced his retirement in March 2017 after 32 years in the post. Chandler’s appointment follows an extensive nationwide search, led by MICM Board leadership and chaired by Board member Virginia Stringer. The search committee worked in collaboration with the Catherine French Group, an executive leadership recruitment firm based in Washington, DC specializing in searches for performing arts organizations nationwide.
ABOUT MADELINE ISLAND CHAMBER MUSIC
Madeline Island Music Camp was launched in 1985 as a one-week retreat for talented young musicians. It soon grew to encompass its current string quartet programs of three weeks’ duration for 32 high school and college students and five weeks for 16 advanced, college-aged students, as well as a one-week program for wind ensembles. In MICM’s idyllic setting, each of the string program’s weeks exposes students to a different professional string quartet, all at the peak of their professional careers. With them, the students work intensively in daily classes, private lessons, and ensemble coachings, as well as weekly master classes and seminars. In this, its 32nd season, the faculty roster included the Arianna, Shanghai, Brooklyn Rider, and American Quartets, in addition to the Prairie Winds, founders of the wind program. In the wake of its 25th anniversary in 2010, MICM inaugurated an advanced program for undergraduate and graduate college-age musicians. It enables four of the quartets, who receive fellowships (and are thus known as Fellowship Quartets), to study with one of the professional ensembles and to perform side by side with them and other faculty in the fourth and fifth weeks. In 2017 those individuals included violinist Geoff Nuttall and cellist Andres Diaz. Following the summer program on Madeline Island, one or more of the Fellowship Quartets are invited to return to the Twin Cities for an Artist Residency, a career development program wherein they have opportunities to teach, coach, and perform in a variety of settings and venues, for a cross-section of audiences.
What makes the MICM program distinctive, even unique, is its focus on chamber music. The program immerses students in the culture, values, dynamics and repertoire of the quartet format, in particular, and grounds them in the continuous improvement and exploration that are necessary to reach excellence. Whether or not they go on to professional careers, MICM believes this deep learning will serve them well across the course of their lives, inspiring them to contribute to the vibrancy of their communities and places of work.
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