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Grand Teton Music Festival Welcomes New Executive Director Emma Kail


Grand Teton Music Festival Welcomes New Executive Director Emma Kail

After a nationwide search, the Grand Teton Music Festival (GTMF) Board of Directors announces the appointment of Emma Kail as GTMF's new Executive Director. Ms. Kail joins GTMF with long experience both as a musician and as an administrative leader in major classical music organizations across the US.

GTMF Board Chairs Barbara McCelvey and John Costello comment, "We are thrilled Emma is joining the GTMF family. She is a charismatic and strategic leader with a strong track record across all aspects of symphony orchestras. She and her family will be a great addition to the Jackson community."

Music Director Donald Runnicles adds, "Emma enjoys an enviable reputation in the orchestral world. Her background and her long experience working with musicians make her decision to join Grand Teton Music Festival extremely exciting. Her vision and enthusiasm for our festival and community are palpable, and I look forward enormously to our collaboration."

Ms. Kail has a strong background in music performance. A graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy, she studied trumpet performance at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music before earning her master's degree in music at the Cleveland Institute of Music as a student of Michael Sachs. She also pursued an Artist Diploma from the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Her early career included administrative positions at the Grant Park Music Festival, Omaha Symphony, and University of Chicago, and she was a member of the 2007-8 cohort of Orchestra Management Fellows of the League of American Orchestras. Upon joining the Alabama Symphony Orchestra as the Director of Artistic Administration, she was the chief creative partner to Music and Executive Directors in developing artistic plans to support the institution's vision and community relevance.

Subsequently, as General Manager of the Kansas City Symphony (KCS) for nine years, Ms. Kail created growth and operational efficiencies throughout the organization, amplifying artistic and organizational momentum through the orchestra's move into a new concert hall. By designing new revenue-generating and audience-building programming and launching new community programs and corporate partnerships, the KCS's budget grew by nearly 70% during her tenure. Ms. Kail credits this growth to the collaborative relationship between the staff, musicians, and board.

Of her upcoming role as Executive Director, Ms. Kail says, "The path I see for GTMF involves the organization engaging with the community and redoubling a commitment to partnerships and artistic excellence. A cultural institution's artists, staff and patrons all need each other to best serve the community and mission, and it's clear that the connection between our musicians, Donald Runnicles, board members and supporters runs very deep. The potential for the Festival to sustain and grow its reach is tremendous, and I am honored to be tasked with the responsibility of stewarding it into the next era."

Emma Kail officially begins her work with Grand Teton Music Festival on September 1, immediately following Simon Woods, incoming President and CEO of the League of American Orchestras, who has been leading the organization as Interim Executive Director since February 2020. Ms. Kail will move to Jackson Hole with her husband, Jeffrey Kail, their two young sons James and Charles, and their cat, Ninja. She and her husband are active outdoorists and look forward to fulfilling their dream of living in a mountain community.

Over seven weeks each summer, Grand Teton Music Festival unites over 200 celebrated orchestral musicians led by Music Director Donald Runnicles. These musicians represent over 60 orchestras and nearly 50 institutions of higher learning throughout Europe and North America.

Grand Teton Music Festival is one of America's leading summer classical music festivals. Recognized by The New York Times as one of the top ten music festivals in the U.S. and chosen by BBC Music Magazine as the "Festival of Choice 2020," it is the most prominent arts organization in the state of Wyoming and a national treasure.

As the single largest performing arts presenter in Jackson Hole with nearly 100 annual events, GTMF presents yearlong programming that includes monthly community concerts, a Winter Festival in February, the Metropolitan Opera's Live in HD series, and education programs for Teton County students.

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