Juneau Symphony has a new executive director.
Charlotte Truitt of Juneau will start June 1 as the symphony’s full-time executive director.
“My background is music,” Truitt said when reached by phone. “I have loved music my whole life. I have also worked in the nonprofit world, so I was kind of interested in coupling the two things together.”
Truitt has lived in Juneau since 1992, and her husband, Ken, plays trombone with the symphony. In the past, she’s served as board president and school administrator for Juneau Dance Theatre, a production manager for Juneau Lyric Opera and part of state Rep. Chuck Kopp’s legislative staff. She’s also been part of the Juneau Symphony Chorus in the past three spring concerts.
The executive director annual salary posted during the search was $50,000-$55,000, which is a raise from the $38,500 previously paid to fill the position, said Juneau Symphony Board President Stan Lujan.
Lujan said that was a necessary expense to ensure the position was attractive to strong candidates and to set some stability for the symphony. The increase was based on input from The Foraker Group, an Anchorage-based organization that helps nonprofits, Lujan said.
“We found we’d either get very good people who said, ‘Yeah, I’ll take that position until I find something better,’ or people who just weren’t very good,” Lujan said. “Last year, we had three different ED’s in one year, and we were for a while without an ED.”
He said the value of consistent vision eclipses the dollar value of the wage increase.
In addition to Truitt’s hiring, Lujan said Franz Felkl has been picked to fill the part-time concertmaster position.
As concertmaster Felkl will be the lead musician for the orchestra, and he has a decent amount of experience with Juneau Symphony.
Felkl played with the symphony from age 12 until he left Juneau to study at University of Alaska Fairbanks. He is a visiting instructor at Florida International University, but is excited to head back to the capital city.
“Florida has been really, really great, but coming from Alaska, I miss it,” Felkl said. “I miss Alaska. I miss the community. We’ve been down here five years. It’s been great, but I think it’s time for change.”
He will be compensated at the rate of about $150 per service for 32 services per year, Lujan said. That works out to be $4,800.
Not to be confused with that other job search
While the hiring of Truitt and Felkl ends two symphony personnel hunts, the search to fill the symphony’s music director position is ongoing.
Previous music director Troy Quinn announced in June 2018, he accepted the position of music director of the Venice Symphony in Florida, and the symphony received dozens of applications to fill that vacancy.
An announcement of three finalists for the position is expected to made after the symphony board’s April 10 meeting, Lujan said.
The finalists will then lead symphony concerts during the next symphony season, and a final selection is expected the summer of 2020.
• Contact arts and culture reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.