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Valley Classical Concerts Names Three Co-presidents

FLORENCE — Many people would not associate chamber music with breaking the mold, but Valley Classical Concerts, which presents chamber music in the Pioneer Valley, has announced a new leadership structure that is definitely modern. 

Valley Classical Concerts will be guided by three co-presidents in the coming year: Laurel Rogers will focus on administrative matters and will chair the board meetings, Emily Susan Gaylord will handle marketing matters, and Jaime Morton will be in charge of development and fundraising. 

“At first we were unsure who might succeed last year’s president, Mike Brooks, who relocated to Florida,” said Eleanor Rothman, a VCC board member and chair of its nominating committee. “After consulting with several board members, we realized the need for a range of skills to ensure success in this increasingly digital age, and concluded that the need could be better met by a team than by an individual. And we quickly realized that, indeed, such a team was right there at our fingertips, with strong skills in the three major responsibilities of the president: marketing, development, and administration. Everything fell into place.” 

The three co-presidents bring a wealth of experience to the job. Rogers is a book binder and book artist and previously played the cello professionally. In addition to her performing and teaching activities, she has also served on concert boards in Los Alamos, N.M. and Princeton, N.J. Morton has run fundraising programs for departments at Smith College, New York Public Library, and other organizations. She owns Artspromo.org, a social-media marketing and PR company.  

Gaylord works in the nonprofit sector and feels that “doing my part to support the arts here is a real gift.” In high school, she said, she was a “begrudging violinist, but I love that classical music has found its way back to me.” Commenting on VCC’s favorable pricing for students and families, she noted that “it’s possible for young people to have access to this incredible caliber of music, and maybe younger versions of myself won’t be so begrudging.”

Valley Classical Concerts presents six concerts each season, running from September to May, in Sweeney Hall at Smith College in Northampton. Information and tickets are available at valleyclassicalconcerts.org, or by calling (413) 585-0458. The first concert in the 2018-19 season is the Telegraph Quartet with oboist James Austin Smith, on Saturday, Sept. 29.

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