Phoenix Chorale CEO Jen Rogers
announces departure in New Year
Rogers established legacy of innovation and transition,
growth and stability for Phoenix Chorale
(Phoenix, AZ) – Phoenix Chorale CEO Jen Rogers has announced she will step down from her position in January 2021 after nearly 15 years working with the organization. Rogers has served as the Chorale’s administrative leader since 2015, when she stepped in as CEO while serving as the Vice President of Marketing & Communications. The Chorale’s Board of Directors has launched a plan to place an Interim CEO in advance of conducting a nationwide search for her successor in 2021.
“Without Jen’s guidance, passion, and expertise, the Phoenix Chorale would not be where it is today,” said Lynne Traverse, Phoenix Chorale Board Chair. “Under her leadership, the organization has become solvent, grown to include necessary full and part-time staff, developed the board into a fully-functioning professional body, launched successful recordings, and greatly increased donor support and expanded audience. Her direction led us to new and bold ideas, a renewed vision for the choir, and a growing excitement for the Chorale that has radiated throughout the organization.”
Across a decade and a half of increasing responsibilities, Jen Rogers focused her effort to propel the Phoenix Chorale into the 21st century, leading new initiatives in marketing, box office, fundraising, and infrastructure, bringing new stability and professionalism to the organization. After stepping away from her work with the Chorale, Rogers plans to expand her earlier work as a consultant for artists and arts organizations, advising across a variety of areas, including marketing and promotion, branding, fundraising, crisis management, and strategic planning.
“When I started with the Phoenix Chorale, I was immediately captivated by the high level of music-making and set out to elevate and expand the capacity of the organization to match and support the choir’s artistry. That has been at the core of my work for the Chorale, and together we have built an incredible community connected to each other through the music,” commented Jen Rogers, President & CEO in announcing her planned departure. “I think every job has an expiration date. I’ve contributed a lot and we’ve accomplished so much together, but I feel it’s time to move on and let others build forward from here. I’m excited for the future of the Phoenix Chorale, and will be cheering this extraordinary group on as I begin my next chapter. With Christopher Gabbitas as the Chorale’s magnetic new artistic director now in place, all systems are ready to go.”
“Jen welcomed me into the Artistic Director role over a year ago and from the first moment, I have enjoyed our teamwork and a revitalized vision for the Chorale’s future. There is no doubt that the current strength of our organization can be contributed to her commitment, dedication, and hard work,” said Artistic Director Christopher Gabbitas. “I have never before worked with anyone more dedicated within the arts sector — the Phoenix Chorale has truly been blessed to have Jen’s leadership and advocacy for the past decade and more. She will be sorely missed.”
Christopher Gabbitas’s appointment as Artistic Director in May 2019 concluded a search process across nearly two years led by co-chairs Rebecca McClain and Jen Rogers. As Artistic Director, Gabbitas leads all artistic and creative aspects of the Phoenix Chorale, building and expanding the group’s artistry through long-term planning and visioning — increasing visibility at home and abroad, expanding outreach, and cultivating opportunities to reach a broader audience.
“The Artistic Director role is critical for the Phoenix Chorale,” said Rebecca McClain, Search Committee Co-Chair. “While the search was long, it was a delightful process in every way, in part because we had Jen with us from beginning to end. Christopher Gabbitas has a strong vision for the next stage of the Chorale’s growth. His experience as a member of The King’s Singers, touring the world and participating in over 2,000 concerts and over 30 recordings, along with his industry connections, have uniquely positioned the Chorale for a very exciting and dynamic future.”
In 2015, during a period of transition for the organization, Jen Rogers stepped in as Interim CEO, working to refocus the Phoenix Chorale in the areas of fundraising, finance, board development, and programming. Since then, she has built the capacity of the organization to effectively support the artistic output, changed the culture of the organization, professionalized systems, increased the level of commitment throughout the organization, and elevated the profile of the Chorale as one of the top professional choirs in the country.
Rogers began shaping the Phoenix Chorale’s brand as a consultant in 2006 and joined the staff to oversee marketing and public relations efforts in 2008. For the next seven years, she focused on raising the visibility of the ensemble, improving communications, and marketing the Chorale’s concerts and recordings. Her efforts doubled overall ticket revenue while nearly tripling season subscription sales. Her innovative methods for record promotion resulted in top selling albums for the Chorale with over twenty weeks on the Billboard charts and the Chorale’s recordings received numerous awards along with multiple Grammy nominations and three Grammy wins. More recently, she championed creating a new DEI Task Force that will help reshape the organization’s work and understanding of serving a broader community.
Jen Rogers is a graduate of Valley Leadership Class of 2017 and in 2019, she was recognized by OnMedia as an “Arts Hero.” She has championed and advised many nonprofit arts organizations across the Phoenix metro-area including Rosie’s House: A Music Academy for Children, Phoenix Girls Chorus, Phoenix Boys Choir, Music at Trinity, The Nash, Roosevelt Row, and currently serves as a member of the Black Voices Matter Pledge team. She also serves as an advisory board member for both Orpheus Male Chorus of Phoenix, Arizona’s oldest choir founded in 1929, and for Tonality, an L.A.-based vocal ensemble whose mission is to deliver authentic stories to incite change, dialogue, and understanding.
ABOUT THE PHOENIX CHORALE
The Grammy Award-winning Phoenix Chorale is regarded as one of the finest choral ensembles in North America. Founded in 1958, the Phoenix Chorale’s mission is focused on building a vibrant community through song and enriching lives through choral artistry. Each season, the Phoenix Chorale reaches over 7,500 individuals through concerts and outreach events across the Phoenix metro-area. The Chorale’s digital audience continues to grow with millions reached through broadcasts, performance videos, and streaming services like Spotify, where the Chorale maintains a listenership of over 35,000 fans each month.
Under the artistic leadership of Artistic Director Christopher Gabbitas, the 28-voice professional choir presents four thematic concert programs each season, with musical works spanning the last five hundred years. New artistic initiatives include the Phoenix Masterworks Series, which features a large-scale work each season, and the Phoenix Commissions Project, a commitment to commissioning and premiering a new work every year. As a member of The King’s Singers for fifteen years, Gabbitas performed almost 2,000 concerts worldwide, conducted over 500 masterclasses, and appeared on over thirty commercial recordings.
Through educational partnerships and programs, the Phoenix Chorale reaches youth through choral festivals, masterclasses, and free student ticket programs. Outreach programs invite new audiences into casual events including Free Open Rehearsals, free broadcasts, Beer Choir PHX, and Valley Sing, a free community event where everyone is invited to sing. Seniors and military veterans are also offered free or discounted access to concerts through special ticket programs.
In its 62-year history, conductors of the Phoenix Chorale have included Millicent Wesley, Wallace Hornibrook, Dan Durand, Vance George, Anders Öhrwall, Jon Washburn and Charles Bruffy. The Phoenix Chorale is ensemble-in-residence at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in downtown Phoenix and is supported through grants, funding, and support from the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture, Arizona Commission on the Arts, and Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, along with hundreds of individual donors, local corporations and foundations. Visit PhoenixChorale.org.
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