The Owensboro Symphony announced today that its Chief Executive Officer Dan Griffith will retire upon the organization naming his replacement. ” The Owensboro Symphony is prepared and ready for leadership transition. Its finances are in flawless order. Ticket sales, donations and corporate underwriting are at record levels. The community engagement programs are serving larger numbers each and every year. The Governing Board is strong and involves some of the communities best leaders. The ensemble is performing at an exceptional level of quality under Troy’s leadership and the Symphony team is fully ready, capable and committed to lead well into the future.” said Griffith.
Griffith returned to the Symphony as CEO in August 2014, after having previously served as its Executive Director from 1984 to 1997. Soon after returning to the Symphony, Griffith was challenged with leading an eighteen month international search for a new music director and conductor, which led to the hiring of Troy Quinn. “Owensboro is so blessed to have Troy Quinn leading our symphony. He has brought so much life and energy to the organization. He has a profound gift in being able to provide creative programming that meets the needs of both our community and our musicians.” said Griffith.
Under Griffith’s leadership the Symphony has experience nearly a 69% increase in ticket revenue while the average attendance for the Symphony’s Subscription Series has increased over 143%. Additionally, the Symphony’s community engagement offerings have more than tripled in number since the introduction of the new Music On Call program conceived and created by Griffith and the symphony team. This unique program that has received national attention is involving close to 20,000 persons each season outside of the traditional performance hall.
“Over these past five seasons our symphony has become one of the most innovative in the country.” said symphony board vice chair Jay Wethington. “When Dan returned he came with a plan to bring about innovative change that would reenergize our organization. Under his leadership the Symphony has seen a period of enhanced artistic excellence and deepened community relevance. The inclusion of advanced technology in our programming has been a game changer for us.”
In addition to increasing attendance and ticket sales, the orchestra has seen significant growth in contributed income and corporate giving. “It was obvious from day one that Dan did not mind asking someone for money and that when something needed to be funded, he would find a way to make it happen.” said Edna Barnes, who chairs the symphony board of directors. “Dan has agreed to continue to serve during this time of transition and for that we are most grateful. He better than anyone understands how very critical this position is to the symphony organization and it is great that he will remain at the helm while the board takes its time to find the right person to lead our community’s symphony into the future.”
In Griffith’s letter to the board he said, “I am not quite sure what my new daily routine is going to be after leaving the Symphony, but I know for sure that it will include spending more time with my wife Beverly, having more flexibility and a lot less responsibility.” Griffith serves on the Owensboro Public Schools Board of Education and on the Green River Area Community Foundation Advisory Board. Griffith was appointed by Governor Matt Bevin to the Authority of Kentucky Educational Television in 2017, and is currently serving as the Authority Chair. Griffith also serves as a member of the Commonwealth Fund Board of KET.
The Symphony Governing Board of Directors has a regular scheduled meeting in early June and expects to announce after that meeting a timeline for the transition.