Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras Selects Susan Lape as Executive Director
Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras (CYSO) has selected Susan Lape as Executive Director, following an executive search process led by Arts Consulting Group (ACG). Succeeding former Executive Director Joshua Simonds, her appointment comes as CYSO celebrates its 70th anniversary this season. She began her tenure on March 1, 2017.
Ms. Lape most recently served as Executive Director of the Lake Forest Symphony, the only fully professional orchestra in Lake County, Illinois. Since 2012, she has overseen the organization’s masterworks, salon, family, and educational concerts and was responsible for all development, civic engagement, and educational outreach initiatives. During her tenure, Lake Forest Symphony and WFMT Radio Network produced “The Search,” an audio documentary that detailed the symphony’s international search for a new Music Director.
Ms. Lape’s career in arts management also includes positions at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Opera, and Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts. She was named Executive Director of the Year by the Illinois Council of Orchestras in 2014. Ms. Lape was also selected as one of nine participants in the League of American Orchestras’ 2016-17 Emerging Leaders Program, a ten-month leadership program offering mentoring with top leaders in the field, one-on-one coaching, in-depth seminars with leadership experts, and peer network-building opportunities. She holds an undergraduate degree from Stanford University and a master’s degree in musicology from the University of Oxford. Ms. Lape currently serves on the board of directors of the International Music Foundation, the Illinois Council of Orchestras, and Beyond this Point Performing Arts Association. She has previously served on the Executive Committee for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Overture Council and on the board of directors for the Chicago Baroque Band.
In making the announcement, CYSO Board Chair Henry Turner said, “I am very excited about the strong leadership team we’ve built at CYSO. We are confident that with Susan as Executive Director… CYSO will continue to build upon its legacy as a leader in the field of youth orchestra education.”
“I am humbled and honored to join CYSO as Executive Director,” said Ms. Lape. “CYSO is a tremendous cultural asset and a vital part of the Chicago community. I am particularly excited to work with the exceptional CYSO students, who are learning citizenship and teamwork through their work with Music Director Allen Tinkham and the CYSO artistic and administrative team.”
“ACG was honored to assist Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras in its search to fill this critical role within the organization,” said ACG Vice President Jenna Deja. “Congratulations to Susan Lape! As the organization celebrates its 70 years of success, we know that Ms. Lape’s passion for music education will help enhance CYSO and its programs within the community for years to come.”