Dear Spirito! Families, Alumnae Families, Donors and Supporters,
Thank you for all you do for Spirito! Singers. You are the backbone of the organization and the reason that we have blossomed over the last twelve years. There is really nothing I can say to adequately express my gratitude.
I founded Spirito! in 2008 and it has been such a heart swelling adventure! Never did I imagine how much I would learn and how much more that I would receive in return from our dear singers and the treasure each and every singer would be in my life. The look on their faces when a musical puzzle piece clicks into place and they hear what they have accomplished is the greatest gift a conductor can receive.
After several months of discernment, I have come to the agonizing decision that I will retire from Spirito! following this summer’s Bravura tour to Nashville, TN. This was a confusing and difficult decision to make since I love “my girls” so much and making music with them has been the greatest honor of my professional life. And, despite the fact that my desire to keep making music with them is as strong as ever, I felt it was important for me to plan this transition while I still have the energy to give the organization my all. My vision has always been to create an organization that will last far beyond my tenure as its Artistic Director. So many individuals have given of themselves to support the organization over the years, and with that comes the responsibility to ensure that their investment bears fruit for years to come. To that end, I feel strongly that the leadership of a non-profit (even when that leadership is its founder), should leave when she is still working at 100% capacity and has the energy and ability to assist in the transition and leave behind a deep bench of talent and a rock solid foundation.
We have an outstanding administrative team in the office with our Executive Director, Mary Jean Adkins at the helm. They are well positioned to assist in the transition to a new Artistic Director. We have an energetic and talented Board of Directors who will be very much involved in this process as well. Ron Korbitz, our Downers Grove Ragazze Conductor as well as our All Ragazze Assistant Conductor will continue in both of these positions. Phil Riegle, our Men of Spirito! Conductor and our Bravura Assistant Conductor will continue in both of these positions. So we are in GREAT SHAPE!
Our search for a new Artistic Director will begin next week. We will begin with a nationwide search and do expect the process to take several months. Once we narrow our search to a top tier of candidates, I will schedule them to conduct selected portions of Ragazze and Bravura rehearsals so that they can be observed by professional choral conductors from outside the Spirito! organization as well as Ron Korbitz, Phil Riegle and myself. I will be at the helm of this talent search and I will make sure that any candidates who we seriously consider not only have the musical qualifications but also support and respect the Spirito! culture of sisterhood for our Ragazze and Bravura singers and the brotherhood for our Men of Spirito!. The traditions which have become so important to all our ensembles will continue. Most importantly, I will make sure that anyone chosen will be a loving and dedicated teacher and mentor to our girls. Certainly, some changes will occur slowly, cautiously over time as the new Artistic Director gets comfortable and seasoned in his/her role with Spirito!. And, it is very important that this happens! No organization worth investing in remains stagnant. No organization can thrive, evolve and gain greater heights without being open to new and exciting ideas. Our singers deserve this and it is what I very much want for them.
There are numerous highly talented and credentialed choral professionals out there and we will have plenty of outstanding choices. I know that we will find someone AMAZING! It is my intention to have the new Artistic Director chosen before our May concerts so he/she can get to know our girls and be introduced to our audiences.
Spirito! has been a great blessing in my life, and I will be proud to be its Artistic Director Emeritus and watch the organization continue to mature and improve.