La Musica International Chamber Music Festival announces changes to board of directors, musicians and dates for 2019 season

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La Musica International Chamber Music Festival announces changes to board of directors, musicians and dates for 2019 season


Sarasota, FL (September 25, 2018) … La Musica International Chamber Music Festival is pleased to announce Samuel Schackow has been voted chairman of the board of directors and Bruce Lehman is the new vice-chair. Outgoing board chairman Frederick Derr has been named chairman emeritus.

Amanda E. Stiff, M.B.A., an investment advisor with Access Advisors, LLC, has joined the board as chief financial officer. A graduate of Smith College, Stiff began her career in financial services in 1980, processing trades at a Wall Street firm. She then received her M.B.A. from Columbia University and later returned to Wall Street as an institutional foreign and domestic equities trader at a boutique investment bank. She started mortgage lender Access Capital Group in 1995 and her investment firm in 2004. Stiff has served civic, educational, faith and professional organizations through board and committee leadership positions in financial affairs, fundraising, programming, and service delivery.

Waddy Thompson has also joined the board. His 35-year career in arts administration encompassed work for a variety of organizations serving music, dance, theatre, literature, and visual arts. He held positions at InterSchool Orchestras of New York, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Authors Guild, New York Foundation for the Arts, Poets & Writers, OPERA America, Second Stage Theatre, American Music Center, and Symphony Space. His responsibilities included fundraising, marketing, and communications. He relocated to Sarasota after retiring in September 2017. He is the author of five books on fundraising, including “The Wise Guide to Winning Grants,” “The Quick Wise Guide to Fundraising Readiness,” and “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Grant Writing.” He has published numerous articles in “The NonProfit Times” and in other periodicals and websites. He taught writing for fundraising at New York University’s Heyman Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising. He was a guest speaker or workshop presenter for several universities and arts councils. Mr. Thompson is also a composer and holds degrees from Eastman School of Music (B.M.) and Florida State University (M.M. and D.M.).

Returning to the board this season along with Schackow, Lehman and Frederick Derr are Sally Faron, president; Nancy Gold, secretary; Charles H. Hamilton, assistant secretary; Jerry Bilik, Terri Derr, Renee Hamad, Jeanne Marie Hamil, John Moffitt, and Robert Stanton.

La Musica’s thirty-third season, “Truthful and Timeless,” will be held at Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota with performances on April 8, 11, 14 and 17, 2019. Musicians returning to perform in the La Musica festival include Federico Agostini, violin; Dmitri Atapine, cello; Artistic Director Bruno Giuranna, viola; Associate Artistic Director Derek Han, piano; Christine J. Lee, cello; Ruth Lenz, violin; Demarre McGill, flute; and Daniel Palmizio, viola. Violinist Marta Kowalczyk and soprano Catherine Wethington will make their La Musica debuts.

For more information about La Musica International Chamber Music Festival, visit




La Musica’s mission is to bring together the finest musicians of Europe and the Americas to present exciting programs of familiar and unusual chamber music, communicating a joy in performance to enthusiastic audiences. A major goal is to reach out to the community to draw people into the creative process through special performances and daily open rehearsals. For more information about La Musica, visit

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