Federal Way Symphony hires new executive director

The Federal Way Symphony hired David Orace Kelly as its next executive director. - Courtesy photo
The Federal Way Symphony hired David Orace Kelly as its next executive director.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Mirror staff reports:

The Federal Way Symphony hired David Orace Kelly as its next executive director.

Kelly comes from the Balagan Theatre in Seattle, where he served as the development director. He has an MFA in arts leadership from Seattle University.

According to a Symphony board member, Kelly has experience in working with government grants, private foundation support, individual giving, special events, and corporate sponsorship. He has also implemented and designed programs for youth.

“The Federal Way Symphony is one of the best cultural treasures in the Puget Sound area," Kelly said in a prepared statement. "It provides the finest symphonic music to audiences of all ages through both performances and education. I am proud to be a part of the Federal Way Symphony as it enters a new era of arts innovation.”

Kelly replaces Mary Gates, who stepped down this summer after seven years as the Federal Way Symphony's executive director.

"Not every city has a symphony, so there is an upgrade in terms of attitude toward cities that do have symphonies," said Gates, who looks forward to serving Federal Way in other capacities. "As we try to get more businesses here, as we try to upgrade our image, the symphony is part of that for the city."

Founded in Burien in 1960 as the Highline Symphony, the orchestra moved to Federal Way in 1985. The orchestra performed as the Federal Way Philharmonic for 14 years until 1999, when it adopted the present name.

The Federal Way Symphony features paid professional musicians and a volunteer board of directors. The Symphony holds programs in Federal Way schools, including the summer music camp, and is known for its holiday concerts.

Under the direction of A. Brian Davenport, the Symphony performs at St Luke's Church in Federal Way.

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