Eastern Music Festival Announces New Executive Director

"After an intensive search, Eastern Music Festival has appointed a new executive director. The EMF board, staff, faculty and music director all participated in the recruiting and interviewing process. “We attracted applicants from all around the U.S. and three other countries. Out of this impressive pool of candidates, we’ve selected Chris Williams,” said Mary Magrinat who led the board’s search committee.

“We are excited about Chris’ vision for Eastern Music Festival and his dedication to the non-profit sector. His skill set includes all of the necessary attributes of an executive director and a remarkable passion for education, classical music and building community support,” said Fred Starr, EMF Board Chair.

Maestro Gerard Schwarz, EMF’s music director, warmly anticipates the arrival of Mr. Williams, “I am very pleased to welcome Chris to Greensboro and our EMF family. I strongly believe that he will help guide us in our continuing great tradition of artistic and educational excellence and with his broad knowledge of music and festival administration help us move forward in new and wonderful ways.”

Chris Williams will be the bridge into a new era for Eastern Music Festival. At the foundation of his leadership qualities are his natural ability to teach and his love of sharing knowledge with audiences. “Everything EMF does is about education whether in the classroom, the concert hall, or a pre-concert lecture. It takes adaptability and creativity to engage patrons and excite the community. We are always looking for new ways to tell our story,” said Williams.

A skilled grant writer and fundraiser, Chris also understands the nuts and bolts of producing festivals. For 22 years, he has been actively engaged in the presentation of the arts and music through festivals, media and community. Williams holds a BA in Music Education from the University of Georgia and a MA in American Civilization from George Washington University. Currently, he serves as the executive director at Garth Newel Music Center, a non-profit offering classical chamber music, jazz and blues performances, as well as a student fellowship program for instrumentalists ages 18-26. Prior to his assignment with Garth Newel, Williams was the Cultural Heritage programs manager at Arlington Cultural Affairs in Arlington, Virginia and program director at the National Council for the Traditional Arts in Silver Springs, Maryland.

One of Chris’ intriguing connections to Greensboro is his prior work for the National Council for the Traditional Arts where he programmed festivals like the National Folk Festival, which begins a three-year residency next September in downtown Greensboro.

Chris Williams begins full-time with Eastern Music Festival, January 1, 2015."

- A Press Release

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