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 www.nhmf.org.
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