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Media Contact:
Jen Rogers, V.P. of Marketing & Communications
480-204-0101 / jen@phoenixchorale.org

For Immediate Release

FORMER CHORALE SINGER NAMED BOARD CHAIR;
a former Culture Commissioner also joins Board

Dr. George A. Martinez sang with Phoenix Chorale for five seasons;
Ted Cunningham served as a City of Phoenix Arts & Culture Commissioner

(Phoenix, AZ) – The Phoenix Chorale’s Board of Directors has named Dr. George A. Martinez as the new Chair. Dr. Martinez replaces Laura Ladrigan Cobb, who served as President of the Board of Directors for three years. Also named to the Board of Directors is Ted Cunningham, a former Arts & Culture Commissioner for the City of Phoenix.

George Martinez
Dr. George A. Martinez, Board Chair

“It’s a great honor to serve an organization that represents such a unique point of pride not just for Phoenix, but for the entire state,” said Dr. Martinez. “With renewed enthusiasm among all Board members and others, together we’ll enhance appreciation of the choral art while helping the Chorale reach new heights.”

Dr. Martinez is in his fifteenth year of close association with the Phoenix Chorale, originally as a singer for five seasons under the direction of Artistic Director Charles Bruffy, and now on his second ‘tour of duty’ on the Board of Directors. A lifelong singer and choral enthusiast, George serves as Executive Director of Scottsdale Leadership, Inc. His areas of expertise encompass resource development, public and media relations, marketing, and government relations. A Tucson native, he earned degrees from the University of Arizona and New Mexico State University along with graduating from the Harvard Management Development Program.

Ted Cunningham
Ted Cunningham, Board Member

The Board of Directors also welcomes a new member to the board, Ted Cunningham. Mr. Cunningham retired from a 43-year career in banking in 2002 and has been involved in the Phoenix community for several years, notably as a City of Phoenix Arts & Culture Commissioner, appointed to two consecutive three-year terms by Phoenix Mayors Skip Rimsza and Phil Gordon. He chaired the Grants Committee for five years, served on the City of Phoenix Citizen’s 2006 Capital Improvements’ Bond Committee, Arts & Culture sub-committee, and he was also appointed to the City’s ad hoc Strategic Planning, Historic Aviation, and Developing Funding Resources committees. Mr. Cunningham has also served on a range of non-profit boards including the Arizona Historical Society State Board (2007-2013), Jazz in Arizona, the University Club of Phoenix, Scottsdale Symphony, and Greater Phoenix Chapter of Cystic Fibrosis. Currently, he serves on the Alumni Advisory Board of the Banking & Finance College of Ole Miss and as a non-board appointee to the Development Committee of the Arizona Historical Society.

For more information about the Phoenix Chorale, please visit PhoenixChorale.org.

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ABOUT GEORGE MARTINEZ: In 2009, George earned his doctorate in Educational Administration (Ed.D.) from New Mexico State University and conducted unique applied research that compares philanthropic giving to state universities and community colleges. As Director of Annual Leadership Giving for Phoenix Children’s Hospital from 2009-13, he built several integrated programs to exceed annual goals by wide margins.  He previously served as the first Communications Director for the University of Washington Graduate School, and as Director of Institutional Advancement at Glendale Community College after 13 years of diverse advancement leadership positions in education: with Tucson Unified School District, the University of Arizona, and Arizona State University; at Pima Community College he served as the first Senior Assistant to the Chancellor. He has won many awards for writing and communications, including the International Exemplary Leadership Award from the Chair Academy, a community college-affiliated organization.  For eight years he taught public relations and writing at Arizona State University as adjunct faculty, has published widely in academic and trade journals, and has presented at professional conferences by request throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. George is an avid reader and writer in specific areas of interest, as well as a fisherman, hiker, traveller, and musician.  He has sung with the Phoenix Symphony Chorus and worked for several years as a weekly soloist with the Christian Science Church.

ABOUT TED CUNNINGHAM: Ted Cunningham is originally from Lewistown, Pennsylvania, where he sang in his high school concert choir. He then attended Penn State for two years and lettered in soccer, sang in the Men’s Glee Club, and transferred to Ole Miss where he earned a BBA in Banking & Finance. While at Ole Miss, Ted sang in the Concert Singers. In 1965, Ted moved to Phoenix and took a position with The Arizona Bank and spent forty-three years in the banking business, retiring in 2002 from Bank of America. During his years banking in Phoenix, Ted’s duties were split between being a branch manager and then in national accounts where he travelled extensively. He also taught several courses at Rio Salado Community College and spent summers at The Stonier School at Rutgers, earning a graduate degree in banking. Ted’s community involvement has been ongoing and extensive over the years, including serving on several boards such as Jazz in Arizona, Arizona Historical Society State Board (2007-2013), Men’s Arts Council of the Phoenix Art Museum, Greater Phoenix Chapter of Cystic Fibrosis, Phoenix General Hospital Foundation, Scottsdale Symphony, University Club of Phoenix, and the Ole Miss Arizona Alumni Club. Ted served as a City of Phoenix Arts & Culture Commissioner appointed to two consecutive 3-year terms from 2000-2006 by two Phoenix mayors: Skip Rimsza and Phil Gordon.

ABOUT THE PHOENIX CHORALE: The Phoenix Chorale is regarded as one of the finest professional choral ensembles in North America. What began in 1958 as a small study group of singers became a fully professional choir in 1992 made up of Arizona residents: highly educated and trained singers, teachers and professionals. In 2004, the Phoenix Chorale became the first North American choir to record for the U.K.’s prestigious Chandos Records and since then, the Chorale’s recordings have earned a total of eight GRAMMY nominations and two GRAMMY wins. The Phoenix Chorale aims to be the preeminent model for American choral music by redefining standards of excellence and its mission is to enrich life through excellence and distinction in choral artistry. All Phoenix Chorale recordings can be found at PhoenixChorale.org.