New Hampshire Music Festival Announces New Leadership

Deborah Leonard Kosits elected as new  executive director;

Dan Perkins appointed principal guest conductor and  director of choral 


PLYMOUTH, NH, JANUARY 23, 2014 – The New  Hampshire Music Festival (NHMF) 

announced today that it has elected Deborah  Leonard Kosits as its new 

executive director. After serving as the interim  executive director since 

September 2013, Kosits, a Meredith resident, was  elected unanimously by the board 

of directors to take on a permanent role with  the nonprofit.

“We are pleased to welcome Deb back to the festival  family, and we look 

forward to an exciting future for our organization,” said  Board Chair Dick 

Hanaway. “Her leadership, insight and connection to the  community have 

allowed us to explore new opportunities and expand in new  directions, and her 

passion for music is evident from the moment you meet  her.”

Kosits has spent more than 30 years as an HR executive at Citibank  and GE 

as well as having consulted for global firms, small businesses and  

nonprofits. Her consulting practice has focused on partnering with individuals  and 

organizations to navigate change, transform and position themselves for  

growth. She was the founding board president of the New Hampshire Master  

Chorale, was president of the Festival’s Friends Council in 2003-2004, and has  

consulted to a number of nonprofit organizations in the region. Raised in New 

York, Kosits’ passion for music was cultivated by her dad, an avid fan of 

the  Saturday Texaco Met Opera broadcasts. She studied piano through college 

and sang  in the high school chorus.

“I’m truly excited to be working with the festival  at such a crucial 

time, and I’m very optimistic about the future. We have  incredible artistic 

direction in Donato Cabrera, a new relationship with Dan  Perkins as director 

of choral activities and principal guest conductor, and a  dedicated team of 

musicians, staff and board,” said Kosits. “Our strategy to  build a healthy 

and long-lasting festival focuses on broadening our reach,  developing 

programming and venues that appeal to a wider audience, and  collaborating with 

like-minded organizations. Success will be defined by our  ability to engage 

all members of our communities, expanding our relationship  with Plymouth 

State University and local businesses.”  Kosits will continue  a limited 

executive coaching and consulting practice in addition to her role at  NHMF.

In addition to appointing a new executive director, the NHMF board  has 

announced that Dan Perkins will join the festival as principal guest  conductor 

and director of choral activities. He is replacing Joel Johnson, who  

retired as conductor of the New Hampshire Music Festival Symphonic Chorus after  

50 years of service.

“I’m incredibly pleased that Maestro Perkins is  joining the NHMF family 

as our principal guest conductor.  He brings an  impressive musical expertise 

as well as a unique and valued connection to the  local artistic community 

that will only strengthen and deepen NHMF’s  relationship to our beloved 

audiences and beyond,” said Donato Cabrera, NHMF’s  music director. 

Perkins has been a professor of music and director of  choral activities at 

PSU for 23 years. He is founder and music director of the  New Hampshire 

Master Chorale, music director of the Manchester Choral Society,  and was 

principal guest conductor of the Vietnam National Opera and Ballet from  

2004-2009, returning in November 2014 as conductor of the Asia Pacific  Activities 

Conference (APAC) Orchestra Festival. Perkins will have his Carnegie  Hall 

conducting debut on April 20, 2014, with singers from Master Chorale,  

Manchester Choral Society, PSU Chorale and choirs from throughout the U.S.  

For more information, please contact Executive Director Deborah Leonard  

Kosits at or visit   


About The New Hampshire Music Festival

The New  Hampshire Music Festival is a six-week summer music festival that 

honors the  tradition of classical music while exploring new artistic paths. 

We strive to  connect the Lakes Region with an engaging, immersive festival 

experience by  presenting world-class performances, creating strong 

collaborations with  community partners, and offering educational programs to 

students of all  ages.

The festival was founded in 1952 as a small chamber orchestra  performing 

on Melody Island in Lake Winnipesaukee and has grown to be a  highly-valued 

community asset. Every summer during July and August, musicians  from around 

the country come to Plymouth to perform well-known classics and  

contemporary works. The 62nd festival season will take place from July 8-August  14, 

2014, in multiple venues throughout central New Hampshire. The Silver Center  

at Plymouth State University will remain the festival’s home, where it will  

offer full orchestra performances on Thursdays and Saturdays, and Tuesday 

night  chamber performances. 

Maestro Donato Cabrera, who had his first season  at the helm of the 

festival in Summer 2013, enjoys an international career as a  music director and 

conductor. Last year, he expanded the festival’s orchestral  and chamber 

concerts, and reestablished the family concert series. In addition  to his role 

at NHMF, he is the music director of the California Symphony and  Green Bay 

Symphony, and is resident conductor of the San Francisco Symphony  (SFS) and 

the Wattis Foundation Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony  Youth 

Orchestra (SFSYO).