Michelle Whiting & Associates Recruits CEO for Pacific Chorale

October 30, 2018 – Michelle Whiting & Associates, a specialist in recruiting leaders for non-profit organizations, has placed Andrew Brown as the new CEO of Costa Mesa, CA-based Pacific Chorale, a professional choir. He replaces Elizabeth Pearson, who left the choir earlier this year. The firm was seeking an energetic, creative and experienced arts administrator to leverage the group’s artistic reputation and to elevate and expand board participation.

“We could not be more excited to welcome Andrew to the Pacific Chorale family,” said Thomas Pridonoff, Pacific Chorale’s board chair. “He comes to us with the perfect combination of vision, experience and proven accomplishment, and we can’t wait to see where he and Rob Istad will take the Chorale in the coming years.”

Mr. Brown previously spent 17 years with the Los Angeles Master Chorale where he started as an administrative assistant and eventually became the chief operating officer. Most recently, he facilitated the Master Chorale’s appearance as the featured chorus on John Williams’ score of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” He also served as executive producer for several of the Master Chorale’s most recent media and recording projects, including “Festival of Carols,” the ensemble’s first self-produced album, on its own label.

In the search for the new CEO, the search firm worked closely with a committee made up of Pacific Chorale’s board members, stakeholders and artistic director Robert Istad. “Andrew has been a valued colleague in the choral field for years, so I can’t wait to work with him here at Pacific Chorale,” said Mr. Istad. “He will be a tremendous leader to carry our 50-year legacy in this community forward into a bright future.”

Related: The New York Pops Turns to Greenwich Harbor Partners for Board Directors

“I am most looking forward to partnering with Rob (Istad) to make his broadminded artistic vision a reality,” Mr. Brown said in a recent interview with Voice of OC. “Rob brings such vitality, creativity and artistry to an ensemble built on an already solid musical foundation. I know we will make a great team and I am eager to work with Rob, the board, staff and musicians to endeavor to make the Pacific Chorale one of the best-kept secrets of Orange County.”


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Founded in 1968, Pacific Chorale is internationally recognized for exceptional artistic expression, stimulating American-focused programming and influential education programs. The choir presents a substantial performance season of its own at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Orange County, and is sought regularly to perform with the nation’s leading symphonies. Pacific Chorale is renowned for infusing an Old World art form with California’s hallmark innovation and cultural independence, developing innovative new concepts in programming and expanding the traditional concepts of choral repertoire and performance.

World Renowned

Pacific Chorale is comprised of 140 professional and volunteer singers. In addition to its longstanding partnership with Pacific Symphony, the Chorale has performed with such renowned American ensembles as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, the National Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Musica Angelica.

Related: Alexander Whitehead Places Artistic Director at Arts Club Theater 

Education programs are central to Pacific Chorale’s vision of enriching and educating the community. Pacific Chorale has produced innovative educational initiatives that have opened the door to the art of choral music and the magic of the creative process for thousands of students and adults annually.

Long Beach, CA-based Michelle Whiting & Associates, founded in 1994, provides counsel to non-profit organizations in both the U.S. and U.K. The firm provides expertise in development assessments, design and implementation of fundraising plans, foundation relations and grant proposal development. Its efforts have assisted over 200 organizations in establishing, strengthening and increasing funding resources. The firm has also become a recognized specialist in executive search for leadership positions focused primarily on fund development.

It works with some of the largest and most prestigious organizations, including the Joffrey Ballet, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Girls Incorporated, THINK Together, the Diana Princess of Wales Fund, Common Threads, American Friends of the Tate Britain, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and the Fulfillment Fund.

Related: Catherine French Group Finds Leader for New Spire Arts

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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