Member News

Published on May 10th, 2013 | by LGBA


New AD for Big Apple Corps

NEW YORK — The Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps Symphonic Band is pleased to announce Kelly Watkins as the new Artistic Director and Principle Conductor.

Kelly is an active duty member of the Coast Guard where she holds the post of “chief musician” as a trumpeter with the US Coast Guard Band and Brass Quintet.  She is the President of the International Women’s Brass Conference, a charitable non-profit dedicated to supporting women brass musicians.   Kelly is the recipient of myriad awards for Trumpet performance, and studies conducting with Dr. James Patrick Miller of UMass Amherst.  Her partner is a professional flautist.  Kelly’s Coast Guard bio can be seen here.

Kelly told the band on Monday that she’s looking forward to making magical experiences with us through music, and is excited to take an active public role in supporting the LGBT community now that DADT has been repealed.

The LGBAC search committee was comprised of five members (two board members, one management team member and two rank-and-file band members — one male, one female).   The committee had outside advisory from a LGBT community advocate (Jim Kelliher, Vice-President of the Stonewall Community Foundation) and from a prominent professional conductor (Scott Dunn).

The committee wrote job descriptions, advertised the position across dozens of venues, reviewed 17 applicants, conducted interviews and sample programming exercises, narrowed the field to three finalists, held a conducting audition and a town hall with our members for each finalist.  The process was well run and the results were nothing short of amazing.   All of the finalists would have been great choices.

“I want to personally thank Brian Worsdale, our outgoing AD, for over 8 years of service and beautiful music making,” said LGBAC President Brandan Travan. “Brian’s last season with us was very special for all involved (and included our debut at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall).  Brian has helped raise the level of musicianship at our organization by broad leaps and he leaves us as a better band today than we were when he arrived.  We are all very grateful.”


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