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CSO Announces New Acting Executive Director, Board Members

The Catskill Symphony Orchestra announces that Cassandra Miller will serve as its new acting executive director. Miller has held leadership roles with nonprofit, arts, and community organizations in Oneonta and Baltimore/DC and began her position with the CSO this month.

“Cassandra’s enthusiasm, creativity, and strong track record of leadership—as well as her love of this community—convinced our board that she was the right person to step into the role of acting executive director,” CSO Board Chair Kellie Bean said. “We have several new faces within the organization, including Music Director Maciej Żółtowski, whose debut was to be the CSO’s Cabaret Concert in March 2020. Over the winter, the CSO also welcomed new board members Laura Tansey Wetzel and Ian Kenyon, both of Cooperstown. We have a lot of fresh energy in the CSO, of which we are excited for Cassandra to take the helm.” 

In the absence of live performances due to COVID-19 this past year, the CSO has continued to be active by presenting virtual programming, including a series of “Conversations with Beethoven” led by Żółtowski. The third virtual event in the series, “Beethoven Conspiracy: The Illuminati” is at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 27, via YouTube, followed by a post-event discussion. Below are more event details. Miller will work with Żółtowski and the Board to offer additional upcoming programming, including a fourth “Conversations with Beethoven” event and a “Meet the Players” event with CSO musicians. More information will be announced soon. 

“The CSO provides an important resource for our community by bringing classical music and world-class performers to our region and I’m honored to be working alongside the Board of Trustees and incredible musicians, including the impressive Maestro Żółtowski, to continue the tradition of excellence,” Miller said. “The rich arts community here is part of what makes our region so special, and I’m thrilled to be back in Oneonta contributing to this place I love.”

Miller held leadership roles in Baltimore/DC with Baltimore Center Stage (the state theater of Maryland), The Washington Post, and Visit Baltimore; and local roles with organizations including the Iroquois Indian Museum and SUNY Oneonta. Since moving back to Oneonta in 2019, she has served on local boards, including the Foothills Performing Arts and Civic Center and the Friends of the Oneonta Theatre and as co-chair of CANO’s City of the Hills Festival. From 2008 to 2012, she was an editor of The Daily Star, where she founded the arts and entertainment publication, The Scene. She has performed locally with Orpheus Theatre and Catskill Community Players. A graduate of Unatego High School, Miller has a B.S. in Journalism and minor in Art History from Boston University and is currently an M.B.A./M.S. in Communications Management candidate at Syracuse University. 

Miller replaces former Executive Director Thomas Wolf, who served the CSO for two years,  transitioning from his position in February to pursue other opportunities. Miller’s full biographical sketch is below, as is more information about the CSO and the March 27 “Conversations with Beethoven” virtual event.

About the Catskill Symphony Orchestra

The Catskill Symphony Orchestra (CSO) was founded in 1953 by a committee of concerned citizens for the purpose of providing access to live symphonic music to area residents, who otherwise would have to travel great distances in order to enjoy such performances. In 1974, the committee filed for articles of incorporation, applied for tax-exempt status, and oversaw the transition from a volunteer community orchestra to a professional organization that has grown steadily in the quality of its musicians and programming. Maestro Charles Schneider served as the orchestra's conductor from 1973 until 2017. In 2020, after an extensive international search, Maciej Żółtowski was appointed the new Music Director. The CSO is an unparalleled resource to entertain, educate, and inspire audiences of all ages in upstate New York—by presenting an ensemble of the highest artistic quality performing the full range of symphonic literature. The CSO typically holds five concerts per season to an audience of over 3,500 patrons offering a diverse repertoire from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Modern, and Contemporary eras.  Each season includes beloved, familiar works; unfamiliar traditional works; and new music.

Event Details for Third ‘Conversations with Beethoven’

“Beethoven Conspiracy: The Illuminati” at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 27, on YouTube with post-show conversation led by Maestro Żółtowski on Zoom. RSVP for post-show discussion to cso@oneonta.edu  

To celebrate Ludwig van Beethoven’s 250th birthday this year, the CSO is presenting a series of “Conversations with Beethoven” hosted by Maestro Żółtowski. “Beethoven Conspiracy: The Illuminati” at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 27, on YouTube examines if the composer was a member of the infamous secret society through clues in his music and personal items that connect to the political environment of the time. While the main conversation is open to the public on YouTube, the post-show discussion on Zoom with Maestro Żółtowski is limited to 20 participants. To attend the post-show discussion, RSVP by email at cso@oneonta.edu. 

Acting Executive Director Cassandra Miller Bio
CASSANDRA MILLER is an arts administrator, marketing professional, writer and editor with nearly 15 years of experience at nonprofit, arts, media, and educational organizations. She currently is Communications Manager at the Iroquois Indian Museum and an instructor of communication and writing at SUNY Oneonta. As Managing Director of Motor House Arts, a visual and performing arts venue in Baltimore, she worked with musicians of all genres, theater companies, visual artists, and led community efforts such as an Asian arts and culture festival. At Baltimore Center Stage, the state theater of Maryland, Miller helped the theater achieve record-breaking ticket sales as the Public Relations Manager for the world-premiere Bob Marley musical “Marley” and east coast-premiere of “One Night in Miami,” now a 2021 Academy Award-nominated film directed by Regina King. For Baltimore’s tourism bureau, Visit Baltimore, Miller oversaw storytelling across multiple communications channels, including digital content, advertising, videos, and print publications. She was an Entertainment Editor at The Washington Post, where she wrote about theater and music. From 2008 to 2012, she was the Community Editor at The Daily Star in Oneonta, where she founded and ran The Scene, a weekly publication focused on arts and entertainment in Central New York. She has also written for Baltimore magazine, Baltimore City Paper, BmoreArt, Baltimore Fishbowl, DC Metro Theater Arts, and launched the blog for the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance (GBCA), where she was a member of the GBCA’s Theater Marketing Braintrust. She additionally served on Baltimore’s Cultural Tourism Committee and on the Board of Directors of the Charm City Fringe Festival. As a marketing and communications consultant, she has worked with theater companies, art galleries, museums, individual artists, and universities. She has been a guest lecturer at Johns Hopkins’ Peabody Institute, Towson University, Goucher College and Loyola University; and has taught at Baltimore City Community College, Hartwick College, SUNY Oneonta, and at language schools in Prague, Czech Republic; Bologna, Florence, and Milan, Italy; and New York City. She has performed as an actor and singer with groups in Boston, Baltimore, and the Oneonta area, including with Orpheus Theatre and the Catskill Community Players. A graduate of Unatego High School, she has a B.S. in Journalism and minor in Art History from Boston University and is currently an M.B.A./M.S. in Communications Management candidate at Syracuse University.

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