Pianist Anne-Marie McDermott, who was named the Creative Director of Santa Fe Professional Musica (SFPM) in Might 2020, has determined to go away the group following numerous difficulties associated to staffing, communications, and strategic route.
A number of different employees members have additionally left the group in 2022, together with Growth Supervisor Mark Zero and Director of Creative Operations Lydia Milá Garmaier.
The troubles started when Professional Musica laid off its newly employed Government Director Mary Madigan in July 2020 as a cost-saving measure. The group had additionally canceled its 2020/21 season within the hope of stockpiling budgetary sources.
In the course of the planning of the 2021/22 season, nevertheless, it grew to become obvious that the place wanted to be stuffed. As a substitute of recalling Madigan to the function, the search committee interviewed just one candidate: Andréa Cassutt. Cassutt was one among three finalists within the earlier nationwide search that led to Madigan’s hiring in 2020.
McDermott was understandably upset that in her capability as Creative Director, she had not been consulted within the hiring course of for a key function within the group.
“I used to be informed for 3 years that I might have an important voice in who the brand new government director could be,” McDermott informed the Santa Fe New Mexican.
“After my on-line assembly with Andréa in July 2021, I had an extended telephone name with Tom [O’Connor, SFPM’s co-founder and ex-Artistic Director] throughout which I expressed my issues.”
In accordance with McDermott, Cassutt’s appointment led to a breakdown of communication throughout the group, and a major shift within the tradition at SFPM.
“The whole lot modified in late August  when Andréa joined the crew,” McDermott stated. “She didn’t appear to know how the group needs to be run or how a price range labored. Communication began to get siloed, and all of the momentum we had got here to a standstill.”
It’s price noting that McDermott isn’t any stranger to this type of work: since 2011, she has been the Creative Director of Colorado’s Bravo!Vail competition, which has an annual price range of roughly $9.8 million and incessantly engages main orchestras such because the New York Philharmonic.
Since McDermott introduced her departure, it has emerged that the SFPM search committee didn’t vet Cassutt’s observe document with managing budgets. Previous to becoming a member of SFPM, Cassutt was the Government Director of the Santa Fe Youth Symphony. Over the course of her three years within the function, the orchestra’s deficits totaled greater than $257,175, with bills exceeding earnings by a minimum of 19% yearly. The SFPM search committee didn’t hunt down this data previous to Cassutt’s appointment, nor have been they conscious of it till just lately.
One distinguished SFPM donor, Sallie Bingham, stated she was so “livid” over the group’s dealing with of the scenario that she has determined to withdraw her ongoing donations. Bingham incessantly gave five- and six-figure sums to SFPM, and was by far its most beneficiant donor.
“At a sure level I needed to notice I couldn’t tackle being Andréa’s mentor, or her instructor, or her coach, and that the very best pursuits of Professional Musica wouldn’t be served by retaining each of us,” McDermott stated of her departure. “We have been simply utterly incompatible.”
McDermott’s final day at SFPM will probably be July 31, 2022.