The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO) has selected Angela Elster as Vice President of the VSO School of Music & Community Programs, following an international executive search process led by Arts Consulting Group Canada (ACG). She began the newly created position on March 26, 2018 on a part-time basis and will assume her full-time duties on June 3, 2018.
With more than 20 years of experience in music and arts education, research, and learning, Ms. Elster has succeeded in significantly expanding music programs and advocacy. Recognized as an expert in the field of music education, she has become a vital resource for expanding the impact, relevance, and effectiveness of music and arts programs across Canada. Ms. Elster most recently served as Interim Executive Director at the Coalition for Music Education Canada (CMEC), where she was charged with leading and expanding the reach of signature programs, such as Music Monday and Youth 4 Music, across Canada. She also led the design and execution of the organization’s new strategic plan. Between 1994 and 2015, she held various key leadership positions with The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, including Executive Director, Senior Vice President of Research and Education, and Vice President Academic. She has also served as Executive Director of the Canadian Network for Arts and Learning and CEO and Founder of Centre for Creative Learning, both in Kingston, Ontario.
In addition to numerous conference and media presentations, Ms. Elster has been published in many magazines, newspapers, and journals, including The Puritan, The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, and International Journal of Education & the Arts. In June 2016 she received a Meritorious Service Decoration: Governor General’s Award for Service to Canada Meritorious Service Medal. Ms. Elster holds a master of arts degree from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto, a bachelor of music degree from the University of Toronto, and a certificate of advanced graduate studies from the European Graduate School, where she is a PhD Candidate. She has also received an early childhood music education certification from Ryerson University, Toronto.
In making the announcement, VSO President Kelly Tweeddale said “Angela is a great choice for the VSO and the VSO School of Music. Her deep roots in Canada’s learning and education sectors as well as her passion for excellence is an ideal fit for the VSO’s entrepreneurial and adventurous spirit. She has been a champion for music across the country and we are delighted to welcome her to Vancouver and our musical community.”
“The VSO’s mission to enrich and transform lives through music is the mission by which I live,” said Ms. Elster. “I have for many years been impressed by the VSO, most particularly as one of the few orchestras in North America to have its own school of music, but also because of the VSO’s artistic integrity. It is with great interest that I have watched the VSO School take shape since its conception in 2003, through its inauguration in 2011, and its growth to the present day. I have been an enormous personal admirer of Maestro Bramwell Tovey, whose vision led to the creation of the school and who is about to conclude his 18-year tenure with the VSO. I recognize this is a time of transformation for the VSO and the VSO School as Maestro Otto Tausk takes the podium, and I am absolutely thrilled to be part of the VSO leadership team during this time of change and evolution.”
“ACG Canada congratulates the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and the VSO School of Music on its appointment of Angela Elster,” said ACG Canada Senior Vice President Martin Bragg. “In her role as the VSO’s senior music educator, we look forward to the increasing impact of the VSO’s education and community programs as it enters its 100th anniversary season.”