After ten years in Tacoma, Andy Buelow will become new executive director of West Michigan Symphony

After nearly a decade as executive director of Symphony Tacoma, Andy Buelow has announced his resignation, effective December 31. Buelow will become executive director of the West Michigan Symphony in Muskegon, Michigan.

“My wife Beth and I have agonized over this decision,” said Buelow. “We’ve built many close personal and professional relationships here in the Northwest. While my passion for Symphony Tacoma is as strong as ever, my heart-home has been calling to me all the time.”

Buelow came to Tacoma in 2007 from the Traverse Symphony Orchestra in Michigan. During his tenure, Symphony Tacoma has become recognized for its musical excellence, audience engagement and strategic collaborations. Since Buelow’s arrival the organization has operated debt-free, doubled its Endowment and increased operating reserves.

“We’re extremely grateful for Andy’s dedicated leadership over the last decade,” said Mike De Luca, president of the board of directors. “While we hate to lose Andy, Symphony Tacoma is well-positioned to attract a capable new leader. The process of finding that person will be an opportunity to align everyone around the organization’s mission: Building Community Through Music.”

When Symphony Tacoma’s longtime maestro, Harvey Felder, announced his retirement in 2012, Buelow spearheaded a two-year international search for a successor. The new music director, Sarah Ioannides, has brought a heightened level of artistic vibrancy to Symphony Tacoma with her creative programming and inclusive leadership style.

“Andy is a great partner,” said Ioannides, “and I feel fortunate to have worked with him over the last three years. He has helped set the stage for the next phase of artistic growth and community engagement.”

With Sarah on the podium, the Symphony has expanded its community presence with a lengthened subscription season, a new family series, string orchestra coaching at underserved area high schools, and free community concerts.

“I believe it’s a good time for this transition, both for me and for the Symphony,” said Buelow. “I feel deeply satisfied with what we have accomplished together, especially considering the growth since Sarah’s arrival.”

A search committee will begin a national search for a successor immediately.

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