Midland-Odessa Symphony & Chorale welcomes new administrative executive director
Feb 09, 2013 (Odessa American - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Whatever you do, don't ask Jeannette Kolokoff for directions unless it's related to the Midland-Odessa Symphony & Chorale.
The new MOSC administrative executive director moved here in November from Greeley, Colo., and she's still learning her way around.
"I'm a bit directionally challenged," Kolokoff said, laughing. "I'm used to having mountains for directions, but it has been great because it's a great organization."
In her new role, Kolokoff oversees the administrative side of the organization, which is celebrating its 50th season this year.
"My absolute favorite part of my job is going to the concerts because I get to see the final product of all the work I do in the office," Kolokoff said. "My greatest joy is working with the musicians. I don't work directly with them, but I help support them to make music."
Kolokoff said her biggest challenge is that her husband of 29 years, Mark, is still living in Greeley where he is finishing his last year of teaching high school theater before joining his wife in the Permian Basin.
"We talk on the phone a lot and we try to visit each other often." Jeannette Kolokoff said.
Jeannette, originally from Orange County, Calif., said they made the decision to move to the Permian Basin after their 25-year-old daughter and 22-year-old son moved away.
She holds a BA in theatre and dance from California State University-Fullerton and a MFA in dance, specializing in teaching and choreography from the University of California-Irvine. She was the director of the musical theatre program at the University of Northern Colorado for 15 years, and for the last seven years has been the executive director of the Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra.
"I'm not a musician at all but my background is in the arts," she said. "I have a love of the arts, a support for the arts and an understanding of the artistic nature of artists."
Kolokoff said the offer to move to Odessa was immediately appealing to her.
"What was very intriguing to me and somewhat unusual is that the symphony orchestra also includes the chorale and kids choir," she said. "I think that is such an asset that these three performing groups are under one umbrella. That is unusual because oftentimes they are in conflict with each other in terms of dates and working together, and we are automatically prepared and want to work together."
But there is one thing Kolokoff is nervous about.
"I haven't experienced summer here yet," she said. "I'm really enjoying the really mild winter. I don't know how I'm going to enjoy the above 100-degree heat in the summer."
But Kolokoff can keep cool in the MOSC offices, located in old airport hangars near Midland International Airport.
"We don't rehearse here all the time, but it accommodates our choral rehearsals and our musicians teach here," she said. "It's nice when I sit in my office and I get to hear music. It really is cool. There's good energy in there."
There was another incentive for Kolokoff to work in the area.
"This is an orchestra that is ready to move forward and I wanted to be a part of that," Kolokoff said. "There is a financial stability in the community that supports non-profits in a way that other communities cannot right now with the current economic situation. Symphony orchestras are an expensive but a very valued asset. A lot of other orchestras nationwide, from very large to small, have to cut back. Having an orchestra in your community establishes some artistic culture and says something about the community. I think a community that doesn't have a symphony has a very big hole in it. Music is something that inspires others and we are able to create that."
"She's perfect for the job," Sue Solari, vice president of the MOSC board of directors, said. "She has done this before and her knowledge of running an orchestra is very good. She fits in perfectly because she is an active board member and is looking forward and wants to see the orchestra grow."
"She is tremendously creative and open to all innovative ideas," Scott W. Long, President of MOSC, said. "Jeannette's great marketing skills have already reaped rewards for our symphony. Her sense of the intrinsic relationship between a symphony and its communities will catapult the Midland-Odessa Symphony & Chorale into our second 50 years of 'Enriching Lives Through Music.'"
--Contact Michelle Brownstone on twitter at @OAcitylife or on Facebook at OA Michelle Brownstone or call 432-333-7782.
___ (c)2013 the Odessa American (Odessa, Texas) Visit the Odessa American
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