1/29/10 – Festival Family Letter

Dear NHMF Family,

We know you are looking forward to receiving the 2010 season brochure and we plan to have specific information about the six week season to you by early March. The Festival will be presenting the Classics Series on Thursday and Friday evenings, Chamber Music on Tuesday evenings, three Pops Concerts on alternating Saturday evenings, and the NHMF Chorus is back as promised, all at Silver Center for the Arts at PSU beginning the week of July 5th.

The Board of Directors met on January 21st to reaffirm its decision to re-invigorate its artistic mission in a more traditional way through a music director search now planned for the 2011 season. Festival Director Henry Fogel and Artistic Director Jonathan Gandelsman recognized that the traditional approach for a new music director made it inappropriate for them to work directly with the Festival in their previously announced roles. By mutual agreement, both Fogel and Gandelsman have ended their appointments with the Festival and wished the Festival success in its plan for sustaining community support for classical music.


Ron Sibley was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors. He is Chairman and former President and founder of Community Guaranty Savings Bank. He has been a key member of the Independent Community Bankers Association and the New Hampshire Bankers Association. Community activities include board positions with Speare Memorial Hospital, White Mountain Gateway Economic Development Corporation, and the New Hampshire Friendship Chorus. Edward J. “Rusty” McLear will continue on the Festival Board as Vice Chairman. Regretfully, Susan Weatherbie is stepping down and the Board expressed their appreciation to her for her dedicated service and strong leadership.

The Board is pleased to welcome John Howe as a new director. His 32 years in the newspaper business culminated when he became Editor and General Manager of Citizen Publishing Company in Laconia and served on the executive committee of the Geo. J. Foster parent company. Mr. Howe recently began a career helping businesses and companies across New Hampshire as an associate with N.H. Business Sales. Community activities include the Lakes Region Scholarship Foundation, Santa Fund in Laconia, and New Hampshire Habitat for Humanity.

After serving the Festival for 22 years and bringing it to a level that gives it the opportunity to achieve new distinction, David Graham feels it is now time for him to move on. The Board is grateful for his lasting contributions. Graham is a recipient of the Corporate Fund’s Excellence in Management Award and upon his arrival at the Festival was charged with spearheading a period of record breaking ticket sales and annual fund growth unprecedented in the Festival’s 58 year history. In 1998, as a result of this success and fiscal stability, the Board set its sights even higher with a goal of realizing the founders’ dream of having its own concert hall. Graham has agreed to finish the arrangements for an exciting 2010 season while the Festival embarks on the search for a new executive director, which will be followed by a search for a new music director.

The economic downturn and the transition to a traditional artistic approach have made it unlikely that a facility could be completed within a definitive deadline. To ensure that the cost of maintaining the property in Center Harbor does not endanger the financial security of the Festival, the Board has agreed to begin preliminary marketing discussions regarding the sale of the property. The Festival appreciates its longstanding relationship with Plymouth State University and the use of Silver Center for the Arts.

The success of the 2010 season depends on your willingness to remain a ticket buyer and a generous supporter of our Annual Fund.

With warm regards,

Ronald Sibley Signature

Ronald I. Sibley

Edward McLear Signature

Edward J. “Rusty” McLear
Vice Chairman