Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra Names Sandra Madden as New Executive Director


Christabel Grant, DSSO board vice
chair, 218-391-9923,
[email protected]
Fiona Pradhan, 612-599-8132,
[email protected]

Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra Names Sandra Madden as New Executive Director

DULUTH, Minn., April 11, 2019 — The Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra board of directors is pleased to announce the selection of Sandra Madden as the DSSO’s new executive director. She has previously served as general manager of the Colorado Symphony Association and executive director of the Madison Symphony Orchestra. Madden will begin in June, taking the helm from interim executive director Kevin Peterson, who took a leave of absence from his role as a violist with the orchestra to take on this position and lead the organization through this transition of leadership.

Sandra Madden

“I am truly excited that Sandra Madden will be joining the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra’s team,” said Dirk Meyer, music director of the DSSO. “Sandy’s deep knowledge of the orchestral world stems from years of experience managing orchestras and helping non-profit organizations grow and thrive. We are truly lucky to welcome her to our organization and into our community. Together we will lead the DSSO into the new decade and ensure its success for years to come.”

Sandra Madden will be coming to the DSSO from Minocqua, Wisc., where she has been serving as executive director of the Campanile Center for the Arts as well as caring for her elderly parents. There she established an endowment for the organization and instituted new ticketing systems that resulted in increases in both earned revenue and contributed revenue. Previously, she was director of development of the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts in the Greater Milwaukee area, and before that was vice president for operations and facilities and general manager of the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in Appleton, Wisc. Prior to these positions, in addition to being general manager of the Colorado Symphony Association and executive director of the Madison Symphony Orchestra, she was also interim chief financial officer of the Colorado Ballet Association. She herself is a musician, a trumpet player, and earned her Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point.

“The board is excited to have Sandy join the DSSO,” said board chair John Berchild. “She really knows how to lead and manage an organization like ours. She is exceptionally qualified in all the areas critical to the DSSO’s future growth – she has the whole package of finance and budgeting, fund-raising, community partnerships, marketing, strategic planning, and education program development. Her professionalism and can-do spirit are impressive. And as an added bonus, she’s from the upper Midwest and is used to our weather!”

“I am thrilled to become part of the DSSO team,” said Madden. “I grew up on Lake Michigan, and the shores of Lake Superior have always been a draw for me. And the DSSO has always been on my radar. The orchestral world is very connected, and throughout my career, whenever I heard about cool, innovative things happening, it always seemed that the DSSO was involved. So this is a dream come true.

“In this climate, orchestras are seeking ways to be even more collaborative and more woven through the fabric of their communities,” continued Madden. “I am hoping to help guide the DSSO in this direction. I’m going to be on the lookout for opportunities to get like-minded people around the table and see what great things can happen. This is a very forward-thinking orchestra, and the community clearly values the arts, so I am excited to get started.”

Madden will be moving to Duluth in June with her husband and their 12-year-old dog, Maggie. They are looking forward to exploring the Twin Ports arts community and array of restaurants. When she is not at work, she enjoys gardening and getting on the road with her husband to explore and discover what’s in their own backyard. Her husband is a professional trumpet player, and together they enjoy going out to listen to live jazz music.

About the DSSO
The Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra is now in its 87th season, with the last two concerts coming up on April 13 and May 4; the 2019-2020 season starts in October 2019. Since its inception in 1932, the DSSO has proven to be a leading cultural organization in the region, providing high-level professional performances of symphonic music, both traditional and new, to audiences of all ages. The DSSO has more than 80 contracted musicians, about two-thirds of whom are from the Twin Ports region, about a third of whom come from the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, and a few come from out of state. The DSSO also has nurtured young musicians for more than 75 years, through the Duluth Superior Symphony Youth Orchestras, open to students age 10 through high school; the DSSYO’s spring concert will be May 5, 2019. For more information call 218-623-DSSO (3776).