DYAO Announces New Executive Director

June 26, 2014 - The Denver Young Artists Orchestra (DYAO) announced today that Kelly Waltrip has been appointed as the orchestra’s new Executive Director. Waltrip succeeds Pete Hellyer, who is leaving DYAO after seven years to launch a new school for young musicians.

Waltrip comes to DYAO from her current position as General Manager of the Lexington Philharmonic in Lexington, Kentucky, where she has been employed since 2009. In that role she is responsible for artistic planning, operations, production, personnel and other key areas of orchestral administration.  Previously she held administrative positions with the Aspen Music Festival, the Music Center of South Central Michigan and the Detroit Symphony, among others.

“Kelly brings tremendous energy, enthusiasm and experience to DYAO, and she is uniquely qualified for this critically important role in our organization,” said Sue Oakes, president of the DYAO board of directors. “We’re delighted that we have been able to attract someone of her caliber, and we look forward to continued growth and success under her leadership.”

As Executive Director, Waltrip will have responsibility for all of the orchestra’s administrative functions, including strategic and artistic planning, member relations, budgeting, marketing, communications, fundraising and development. She will also work closely with Music Director Wes Kenney to ensure a high-quality experience for the orchestra’s nearly 300 young musicians.

“DYAO has a national reputation as one of the best-run youth orchestras in the United States,” Waltrip said. “I’m honored to be joining such a great organization and look forward to serving its community, students and families.”

Oakes also thanked Hellyer for his contributions to DYAO. “During Pete’s tenure, DYAO grew tremendously in terms of scale and in the breadth and depth of its programming,” Oakes said. “We’re deeply indebted to Pete and wish him all the best as he embarks on the next step in his career.”

Kelly Whelan Waltrip received her Bachelors in Music from Western Michigan University and holds a Certificate in Arts Management from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.



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