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Chorus of Westerly Announces New Executive Director

THE CHORUS OF
WESTERLY
WELCOMES NEW EXECUTIVE
DIRECTOR
RYAN A. SAUNDERS

The Chorus of Westerly is
pleased to announce the appointment of Ryan A. Saunders as its new Executive
Director.  Mr. Saunders, a former child and teenage member of the Chorus of
Westerly, will begin his new position with the organization in July.

A
native of the Westerly/Pawcatuck area, Mr. Saunders’s roots with the Chorus of
Westerly are quite deep.  He joined the Chorus in 1986 as a treble (boy soprano)
and sang with the ensemble through his graduation from Stonington High School in 1996.  Since that time, Mr.
Saunders, currently a resident of Natick, MA,
has remained active with the Chorus serving frequently as a volunteer and as a
member of the organization’s Board of Directors.  He most recently served as
Vice President of the organization.  In addition to his work in Westerly, Mr. Saunders has served annually on the volunteer
staff of the Chorus’s annual summer choir camp for its youth members in
New
Hampshire.

Outside of his work with the Chorus,
Mr. Saunders’s arts management background is quite extensive.  After graduating
from Wheaton College in 2000 (where he served as an assistant to
the choral director), Mr. Saunders was hired by Tufts University as an events producer and
publicist for their department of music.  During his first five years with
Tufts, Mr. Saunders helped oversee a dramatic expansion of the Tufts Music
concert season from 50 to over 100 concerts annually, as well as a nearly
doubling in total and average concert attendance.  In 2007, upon the opening of
Tufts University’s new Granoff Music
Center, Mr. Saunders was
promoted to Manager of Events and Public Relations for both the new center and
the department.  His new duties included overseeing a large staff, managing two
state-of-the-art performances halls and an active box office, as well as
directing and executing an expanded events season of nearly 200 concerts and
other activities.  He most recently was the winner of a Tufts University
Distinction Award, the 2009 Change Agent Award, for creating new opportunities
for innovation.

Mr. Saunders is a former member of the Council of
Electors for the Center of the Arts, Natick, and
has a master’s degree in arts administration (with a focus on performing arts
management) from Boston University.  He is married to Alisa
Merrifield Saunders, a kindergarten teacher in Dover, MA.

“On behalf of Music Director George
Kent, the Board of Directors, staff, and singers, we are all very excited to
have Ryan joining us as our new Executive Director and welcome him back home!
 Ryan’s leadership and passion for the Chorus of Westerly will be the catalyst
for the Chorus’ future success as we begin our next 50 years!” said Chorus of
Westerly President Deborah Dunham.

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