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Tuesday, February 19 , 2019, 11:47 am | Fair 54º


Scott Reed New President of Music Academy of the West

The fundraising VP becomes only the fourth president in academy history

Scott Reed, a former intern who went on to oversee fundraising operations and spearhead a succession of multimillion-dollar campaigns for renovations at the Music Academy of the West, has been named president of the renowned classical music institution. He will succeed NancyBell Coe, who announced her retirement in November.

Scott Reed
Scott Reed

“I am proud to follow in the footsteps of NancyBell Coe, who has done so much to elevate the academy’s standing among musicians, administrators and music lovers the nation over,” said Reed, whose appointment is effective Aug. 16. “I have been affiliated with the Music Academy for 14 years and am wholly committed to its continued development as a musical institution of the highest order and as a regional cultural resource. I view this appointment as the honor and opportunity of a lifetime.”

Reed, who serves as vice president for institutional advancement at the Music Academy, was selected from among more than 50 applicants after a seven-month nationwide search led by the Catherine French Group, a Washington, D.C.-based firm that specializes in executive recruitment for nonprofit music, arts and educational organizations.

“The search committee was delighted with the response to the position. In the end, a remarkable consensus formed around Scott Reed, and it was our pleasure to recommend him to the board. We are confident that he will be an outstanding president of the Music Academy,” said former academy board chairman James Davidson, who headed the board’s search efforts.

“I am extremely pleased with this appointment, as I have witnessed first-hand Scott’s leadership, determination and commitment to the Music Academy’s mission. I am eagerly looking forward to working with him in his new capacity as president,” academy board chairwoman Sharon Westby said.

Born in Bakersfield, Reed grew up in Tucson before earning a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance at UCSB, where he performed in opera productions, vocal ensembles and solo recitals and was awarded a music affiliate scholarship.

As an unpaid intern at the academy during his senior year, he caught the attention of local philanthropist Leatrice Luria, who funded a full-time position for him the following year. From 1997 to 2004, Reed served as coordinator of alumni and student affairs, major gifts officer and executive manager of the campus long-range facility upgrade campaign and permit entitlement process. During this time, he developed several signal initiatives, including the academy’s innovative Compeer Program, which pairs Fellows with donors and other Santa Barbara community members for informal socializing throughout the summer season.

After serving as associate director of development at the San Francisco Opera for nearly two years, Reed assumed responsibility for Music Academy fundraising in September 2005. During the past four years, despite difficult economic headwinds and waning support for arts organizations nationwide, Reed and his team have increased the academy’s annual fund 32 percent and raised $25 million in support of capital and endowment projects. He is completing an $11 million campaign to fund the Luria Education Center, construction of which will commence in August.

“Scott has evinced significant leadership potential throughout his long and fruitful association with the Music Academy,” Coe said. “It is gratifying to see him take this next, momentous step. He brings a host of wonderful qualities to this important position. I am confident that he will prove an exceptional chief executive for this glorious organization.”

Since becoming just the third president in Music Academy history in July 2004, Coe has presided over a series of ambitious campus efforts, including the renovation of Hahn Hall before the start of the academy’s 2008 Summer School and Festival. The academy’s stature has grown steadily in recent years, resulting in a record number of applications for its 2010 Summer School and Festival and increased national notice for its programmatic offerings.

The Music Academy of the West is presenting its 63rd annual Summer Festival through Aug. 14.

For tickets and information, click here or call 805.969.8787.

— Tim Dougherty is communications manager for the Music Academy of the West.

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