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Phoenix Chorale Names
Mary Deissler
Interim Executive Director
One of the Nation’s Leading Arts Executives On Board To Guide Organization During Transition

(Phoenix, AZ) – The Phoenix Chorale Board of Directors has appointed one of the nation’s leading arts executives, Mary Deissler, to serve as the Phoenix Chorale’s Interim Executive Director.

Having served in multiple leadership positions for renowned arts organizations and non-profits, Ms. Deissler brings an innate understanding of Phoenix Chorale’s leadership needs and possesses the superior qualifications to administer its operations. Ms. Deissler will lead the organization throughout the interim period as the Board conducts its executive search.

Prior to forming her firm, Deissler Consulting, which advises large scale organizations on development, earned revenue, and operational strategies, Ms. Deissler served as President/CEO with Charlotte Symphony and Chicago Academy for the Arts, and was the Chief Advancement Officer for Artis–Naples, Southwest Florida’s largest cultural center which encompasses a full-time orchestra, museum, and over 300 performances and events a year. She has a reputation as a prolific leader and fundraiser, and throughout her career, she has raised over $275 million in funds for the various organizations she has worked for.

Well known in the choral community, she is currently a Trustee for Chanticleer in San Francisco and served as Board Chair for the national organization, Chorus America, where she was honored for her Lifetime Contribution to the Field as well as and the Award for Innovative Action and Entrepreneurial Zeal.

She has spent the majority of her career in the classical performing arts, including serving as the Director of Campaigns for the LA Philharmonic and the CEO of America’s oldest performing arts organizations, the Handel & Haydn Society in Boston, in which she oversaw 10 recordings, including one GRAMMY Award winner and created an international partnership with the English National Opera to produce two operas with the acclaimed company based in London.

“Mary brings tremendous leadership skills to the Chorale; her experience in stewarding organizations through times of transition, her great success running multiple major arts organizations, and her deep understanding of the choral field will both safeguard and preserve the success and stability of the Phoenix Chorale as we search for our next Executive Director,” said Lynne Traverse, Phoenix Chorale Board Chair.

Last month, The Phoenix Chorale Board formed an Executive Search Committee, led by Board member Mary Farrington-Lorch. The Committee is embarking on a national search for a new Executive Director to take the helm and work with the Phoenix Chorale’s esteemed Artistic Director, Christopher Gabbitas. Details for the search will be posted in the next few weeks at

“I’m delighted to have Mary on board for this transitional time,” stated Phoenix Chorale Artistic Director Christopher Gabbitas. “She has an incredible reputation and I look forward to working with her.”


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

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