The Southwest Florida Symphony Welcomes New Administrative Staff
Fort Myers, FL— The Southwest Florida Symphony, Lee County’s only professional orchestra and one of the oldest symphony orchestras on Florida’s gulf coast, welcomes several new administrative staff members this season. As its performance schedule continues to grow and its artistic footprint expands into other markets throughout Florida, the need arose for additional administrative support for the orchestra. “At the end of last season, we felt some growing pains as a result of lengthening our season and putting more musicians onstage in more places,” said Amy Ginsburg Padilla, the symphony’s executive director. “Having overflowing plates is a very good problem to have, but we felt that because of the orchestra’s financial health and our desire to continue to grow, the time was right to bring the appropriate staff on board.” Even with the addition of these new staff members, the symphony managed to keep its payroll level with last year. The following positions were filled within the past twelve months:
Artistic Administrator, Ernie Toplis
Ernie Toplis has a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. After graduating, Ernie enlisted in the United States Air Force (USAF) where he served for 20 years performing in the Air Force Band Program ending his career as Chief of Operations for the USAF Band in Washington DC. Upon retirement he went to work for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO). There, in addition to General Manager of Music Hall, he worked for Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra as Pops Manager. In addition, Ernie spent several of years as Director of Operations for the Aspen Music Festival and School as well as working in different capacities with orchestras such as the Lansing Symphony and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Personnel Manager, Shane Wedel
Shane Wedel plays second oboe and English horn with the Southwest Florida Symphony and has recently accepted its personnel manager position. Born in Montana and raised in Spokane, Washington, Shane has a Bachelor of Music degree in oboe performance from the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music and a Master of Music degree from the prestigious Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston. Music has taken Shane all over the world; in addition to North America, he has performed in Asia, Europe, and Central America. Shane has been living on Florida’s Gulf coast since 2013. He is an active freelancer, having played with such ensembles as Sarasota Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Naples Philharmonic, Sarasota Orchestra, and the Florida Orchestra.
Scott Osler, Finance Director
A Connecticut native, Scott attended Babson College in Massachusetts. He married his wife of 41 years and they raised a family outside of Boston. Scott joined Polaroid Corporation after earning an MBA and fulfilled a variety of financial roles during his 32- year career. He continues as the Treasurer of the Polaroid Retirees Association. Scott has been with the Symphony for 18 months. His favorite classical composer is Jimmy Buffett.
Dr. David Cole, Principal Librarian
Dr. David C. Cole serves as the Youth Symphony conductor for the Southwest Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra program and as Principal Librarian for the Southwest Florida Symphony. In 2014, he led the Youth Symphony in their first appearance at Carnegie Hall, and in 2016 he will conduct the ensemble at the Capital Orchestra Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. His recent guest conducting appearances include concerts with the Marquette Symphony (Michigan), the Colombian National Conservatory Orchestra, the Pleven Philharmonic (Bulgaria), the Orquestra de Camera de Bellas Artes (Mexico City), the Baylor Symphony Orchestra, the El Alto Municipal Youth Orchestra (Bolivia) and the Cincinnati Metropolitan Orchestra.
Dr. Cole has previously led the orchestra programs at universities in Florida, Texas, Utah, Kentucky and Michigan and taught orchestra and strings in the Waco, Texas public schools. He holds music degrees from West Virginia University, The University of Iowa, Baylor University and The University of Arizona. In 2001, he was selected as one of four conductors to record the national anthems heard during the Medals Ceremonies at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. Dr. Cole has assisted in the training of young conductors through lessons and master classes in Colombia, Mexico, Bolivia and Texas. He appears frequently as guest conductor and orchestra clinician with youth orchestras and high school groups throughout the United States.
Cheryle Naberhaus, Associate Librarian
Cheryle F. Naberhaus, a graduate of East Carolina and Southern Methodist Universities, has been a highly respected French horn player from a young age. She has been a guest soloist, featured artist, and guest lecturer/clinician on many occasions. Her musical travels have allowed her the privilege of working with some of the world’s best hornists such as Greg Hustis, Barry Tuckwell, Eric Ruske, and Dale Clevenger. She has performed with numerous orchestras and may be heard on recordings with the Dallas Symphony, Bee Gees, Ray Charles, and award-winning independent films. Ms. Naberhaus currently plays with several area orchestras, the rock band “No Outlet.” She is very happy to be returning to the Southwest Florida Symphony where she previously held positions as principal horn and music librarian.
Joanna Lindsey, Box Office Manager
Joanna Lindsey has a BA in Music Education from Campbellsville University in Kentucky. Rather than teaching she found herself an arts administrator as House Manager at Clowes Memorial Hall at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana followed by a move to Fort Myers where she secured a Box Office Reservationist position at Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre and shortly thereafter became the Group Sales Manager. Taking a 10 year hiatus from Florida’s heat, she headed back to Kentucky for family concerns and worked as Box Office Manager for LexArts at the Downtown Arts Center in downtown Lexington. While there she orchestrated a summer program for children featuring puppet shows, musicians and other kid friendly performers. She also developed working relationships with a variety of theatre, music and dance groups in the Lexington community. Upon her return to Southwest Florida she now is glad to be Box Office Manager at Southwest Florida Symphony.
Southwest Florida Symphony General Information
The Southwest Florida Symphony is the only professional orchestra in Lee County and the one of the oldest on Florida’s gulf coast. It enters its 55th season this year, having made its debut as a community orchestra on April 15, 1961. Conducted by Arlo Deibler, the Symphony began its life as a community orchestra and its original roster consisted of 24 musicians. It performed in community centers and schools throughout Lee and Collier Counties. It has since grown to become Lee County’s only professional symphony orchestra, filling Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall with symphonic music enthusiasts and a roster consisting of more than 65 world-class musicians. The Southwest Florida Symphony’s 55th year promises to be a season of continued enthusiasm as internationally acclaimed Maestro Nir Kabaretti leads the symphony into another season of blockbuster performances. Maestro Kabaretti is the fifth music director in the organization’s history. His presence and caliber of musicality garnered record setting attendance at many of the symphony’s 2014-15 Masterworks Concerts. The Southwest Florida Symphony’s mission is to celebrate the joy of music and to inspire audiences with a variety of quality concerts performed by professional musicians that are accessible to all.
This season features the Southwest Florida Symphony’s signature Masterworks Classical Concert Series, entitled A Symphonic Storybook (November 21, Carmina Burana; January 23, One Thousand and One Nights; February 13, Love Triangle; March 5, A Night at the Opera; and April 2 & 3, The Shakespeare Experience), a special Holiday Pops concert entitled The Holidays in Paradise on December 16 & 17 at Flagler College in St. Augustine, December 19 at Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, December 20 at BIG ARTS on Sanibel and December 21 at The Village Church at Shell Point; its Pops Series (Rodgers & Hammerstein Celebration on January 8 & 9; A Night at the Oscars on February 5 & 6; and My Sinatra on April 2 & 3), a chamber series called Small Stage Symphonies℠, performed at BIG ARTS on Sanibel Island (January 13, February 3 and March 23), Faith Presbyterian Church in Cape Coral (August 12, 2015, January 15 and March 22), The Village Church at Shell Point (August 13, 2015, January 14 and February 4), and at the Sidney & Berne Davis Arts Center (August 14, 2015 and March 23).
Southwest Florida Symphony Sponsors
The Southwest Florida Symphony’s 2015-16 sponsors include The Southwest Florida Symphony’s Board of Trustees, The Southwest Florida Community Foundation, The City of Fort Myers, The State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, The Florida Council on Arts & Culture, The Southwest Florida Symphony Endowment Foundation, The Southwest Florida Symphony Society, The L.A.T. Foundation, Uhler & Vertich Financial Planners, Enterprise Rent-a-car, IberiaBank, The Neil Goldberg Dream Foundation, Rev. Gary & Mrs. Christine LaCroix, Mr. Charles B. Munsch, Mr. Don Fjellin, Ernie Fogg & Margot Flinn,‘Tween Waters Inn, Bailey’s General Store, Sanibel Captiva Community Bank, Crowne Plaza, Mastello Ristorante, Advanced Pain Management and Spine Specialists, Alexander & Hoover, LCEC, The Cape Coral Community Foundation, The Friends of the Symphony on Sanibel, Mr. & Mrs. Steve and Charlotte Qua, Pamela Templeton and the Red Lipstick Foundation, Suncoast Schools Credit Union and Mark Loren Designs.