DeKalb Symphony Orchestra hires new executive director

Alan Hopper, executive director of the DeKalb Symphony Orchestra. Photo submitted by DeKalb Symphony Orchestra.

Clarkston, GA — The DeKalb Symphony Orchestra has a new executive director. Alan Hopper will begin serving in the role effectively immediately and will oversee the administrative and financial aspects of the organization, the DSO announced on Monday, July 26.

Hopper has 40 years of professional orchestra leadership experience. His knowledge of the repertoire and all aspects of orchestra management, planning and production have played a pivotal role in institutional growth, according to a press release. Hopper most recently served as president and chief executive officer of the Atlantic Classical Orchestra. Before that, he serves as president of the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra. He has also been executive director of the Jacksonville Symphony Association, the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra and the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra.

“I am eager to settle into my new position and get to know the entire DSO family – board members, players, subscribers, enthusiastic audiences, donors, as well all the community members who have not yet met us,” Hopper said in the press release.

The DeKalb Symphony Orchestra presents a full year-round season of traditional and contemporary music in relaxed settings. For more than half a century, the DSO has provided high-quality artistry at affordable prices for diverse audiences. The orchestra has been in residence at the Perimeter College of Georgia State University’s Clarkston Campus and also performs regionally.

During Hopper’s career in the arts as a performer, educator and administrator, he has provided leadership that expanded diverse community engagement and accomplished the directional growth sought by the various institutions, according to the press release. He has developed financial structures and discipline, as well as fundraising and audience development strategies that have resulted in increases in both contributed and earned revenue.

Earlier in his career, Hopper served as general manager, among other managerial roles, at the Florida Orchestra in Tampa as well as being one of the original members  of the orchestra. Hopper earned a Bachelor of Music degree  from the University of South Florida in Tampa where he became an instructor of bassoon and saxophone prior to graduating. While at USF, Hopper was a member of the Ars Nova Wind Quintet who recorded for the Musical Heritage Society.

He also served at the Armed Forces School of Music and while in the Army, taught at Old Dominion University and performed with the Norfolk Symphony and the Peninsula Symphony, the press release stated.

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