The Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra (FSO) has announced the resignation of Executive Director Christopher Barton, effective July 15. Barton will leave the FSO to become the Executive Director of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Orlando, FL.
“It is with mixed feelings that we say goodbye to Chris,” said Helen Hudgens Ferrell, President-elect of the FSO Board of Directors. “He has provided significant leadership and built strong relationships in our community during his time with the FSO. He will be missed. We see this as a great professional opportunity for him and wish him well.”
During Barton’s tenure with the FSO he worked to improve marketing and fundraising operations, to raise the organization’s profile in the community, and in partnership with Artistic Director and Conductor Elizabeth Schulze, to expand the orchestra’s programming.
“I’ve truly enjoyed my creative collaboration with Chris,” said Schulze. “He is a wonderful colleague with a brilliant future.” The 2016-2017 season will be Schulze’s ninth and final season as Artistic Director and Conductor of the FSO. The season, titled “Symphonic Fan-Fare,” will also feature four guest conductors being considered in the search for her successor.
Barton was named the Executive Director of the FSO in January, 2014. He moved to Flagstaff from his home state of North Carolina where he worked for the College of Arts and Architecture at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and previously as Operations Manager and Artistic Administrator with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra.
“I am incredibly proud of the FSO and grateful to this community for the many ways it supports its orchestra,” said Barton. “It has been an honor and privilege to work with Elizabeth Schulze, the FSO musicians, our Board of Directors, volunteers, and staff. Flagstaff has been wonderful to me and my family and we will miss it very much.”
The FSO Board has established an Executive Director Search Committee and will begin the process of filling the position immediately.
Barton will join the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra as it begins its 24th season and its second with Music Director Eric Jacobsen.