Curriculum Vitae

Elizabeth J. Start

Kalamazoo, Michigan
(269)598-5090 –

Experienced as cellist, composer, teacher, administrator, fund-raiser, grant-writer, negotiator, orchestra librarian, personnel manager, lecturer, writer, recording engineer

Present Activities

  • Director, Michigan Festival of Sacred Music (July 2004-present)
    • Program Festival and off-season events, including artist contacts and contracts, securing venues
    • Research and apply for grants: consistent success with repeat and new grantors
    • Fund raising: Number of individual and business donors increased since 2004
    • Oversee Marketing and PR Director
    • Work with Board, Board committees, and contracted workers to accomplish these tasks
    • Recruit and oversee volunteers
  • Professional Cellist
    • Member, Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, Elgin (IL) Symphony Orchestra, Symphony II (IL), Ravinia Festival Orchestra (IL) see Performance Experience for dates. “Team player” in these orchestras and other free-lance activities.
    • Appeared as solo artist at New England Conservatory, Oberlin Conservatory, DePaul University, Columbia College, Music Institute of Chicago, Medieval Congress, Assisi Sacred Music Festival (Italy) as well as Kalamazoo College and First Baptist Church’s Music for Summer Nights series
  • Professional Composer:
  • Board member (2007-2013), music committee member (2007-present) Stulberg International String Competition
  • Chamber Music coach: Chamber Music Workshop, Kalamazoo and Chamber Music for Fun, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp (2003 to present)
  • Board member, New Year’s Fest (2006-present)
  • Board member, Local 228, American Federation of Musicians (2003-present)
  • Vice President-Secretary, Local 228 AFM (2011-present)
  • Elected member of Musicians’ Committee, Elgin Symphony Orchestra (2012-present)

Previous activities

  • Community Arts Liaison, First Baptist Church of Kalamazoo (2001-May 2008)
    • Meet with clients, arrange contracts, insurance riders, and logistics for rented events
    • Research and engage artists, market, prepare programs and fliers, file performance licenses, pay artist fees and maintain other accounts of expenses for events presented by the Community Arts Program
    • Oversee programs/events and needs of clients/artists, instrument maintenance
    • Oversee volunteers staffing events
    • Maintain updated information on church and Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo website
    • Educate church and community constituents in the services provided and the events presented
    • Maintain contact with other arts organizations in town to coordinate usage, collaborations,  and non-competitive scheduling
    • Research and apply for grants. Successfully wrote grants for support from: The Irving S. Gilmore Foundation and the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo Mini-grants
  • Thirteen years of combined adjunct teaching and free-lance performance/composition:
  • Board Member, Local 48, American Federation of Musicians (AFM) 1999-2001
  • Elected member of Musicians’ Committee and contract negotiating committee, Kalamazoo Symphony 2004
  • National Secretary, Regional Orchestra Players’ Association (ROPA) 2000-2002
    • maintained records of and contact with delegates, contacted prospective and new delegates, wrote bulletins for national distribution detailing contract settlements and job actions, wrote articles published in The Leading Tone, ROPA’s newsletter, and The International Musician, the publication of the AFM, represented ROPA orchestra musicians at the AFM national conference, organized mailings of information for conferences, kept minutes of general and Board meetings, participated in organizational governance, emergency aid
  • Vice President, Yorkshire Courts Condominium Association ’95-97, ’99-’01
    • Took a major role in operations of a 38-unit condominium complex: attended monthly Board meetings, prioritized projects, solicited and reviewed bids, communicated issues with homeowners, mediated issues between homeowners, handled emergency situations, communicated with city officials
  • Member, Musicians’ Committee, Elgin Symphony Orchestra (IL) 1993-2000, 2012-present
    • Chair of Committee (’96-2000): Negotiated three three-year contracts, served as “watch-dog” in administration of said contracts, took action when needed to handle problems and violations (various: communication with Management, Board, media, AFM, Federal Mediator, etc.)
  • Personnel Manager, Illinois Chamber Symphony 1992-1995
    • Hired musicians for concert series, handled logistics of rehearsals, directions, payroll, union contracts, emergency replacement of personnel, retention of personnel
  • Librarian, Illinois Chamber Symphony 1993-1995
    • Searched and contacted publishers of music, purchased or rented music, added bowings and conductor’s preferred interpretive indications, distributed music to musicians, collected, returned, handled finances of rentals and purchases
  • Manager, Contemporary Chamber Players of the University of Chicago 1989-90
    • coordinated rehearsal schedule with personnel manager, procured music, rental instruments (when necessary), rehearsal space, prepared publicity and programs, coordinated transportation of guest artists and music director, oversaw performances (lighting, stage set-up, etc.)
  • Recording Engineer, Northern Illinois University 1983-86
    • recorded all types of ensembles in concert, in the studio, and in remote locations, providing tapes of performances for regular broadcast on WNIU-FM
  • Computer Operator, Oberlin College 1979-82
    • responsible for minor maintenance, form printing, customer service, file archiving and retrieval
  • Program annotator, Kalamazoo Junior Symphony 1977-78

Membership in Professional Organizations

  • International Alliance of Women in Music
  • American Federation of Musicians (locals 228 and 10-208)
  • Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI)
  • Suzuki Association of the Americas
  • Society of Composers, Inc.
  • Chicago Cello Society
  • Chicago Composers’ Consortium
  • Chicago Musicians Club of Women
  • Access Contemporary Music
  • Chamber Music America

Educational Summary

University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 9/87 – 6/92 Ph.D., Music Composition 6/92
Northern Illinois University, Dekalb, Illinois 9/82 – 5/86 M.M., Music Composition/Theory 5/86
Northern Illinois University, Dekalb, Illinois 9/82 – 5/86 M.M., Cello Performance/Pedagogy 5/84
Oberlin Conservatory, Oberlin, Ohio 9/78 – 5/82 B.Mus., Cello Performance 5/82
Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio 9/78 – 5/82 B.A., Mathematics 5/82
Suzuki Teacher Training (cello) Books 1-10 ’92 – ’97
Post-Doctoral Education: 2007 Executive Certification Program in Nonprofit Leadership, Center for Social Leadership, Washington, D.C. 2007
2012 Baroque Performance Institute, Oberlin Conservatory