Arts Leader Gary Good Retires From Pacific Symphony

Gary Good addressing Symphony donors and colleagues. All photos in this post are by Doug Gifford.

After an illustrious 48-year arts management career with a wide range of orchestras and opera companies, Gary Good will be transitioning from his present work with Pacific Symphony as senior executive for endowment and legacy giving.

With so many achievements in a long and prestigious career, highlights of Gary Good’s work in the performing arts field range from his beginnings with the Boston Symphony to achieving notable “firsts” for a number of orchestras: Under Good’s leadership, Baltimore Symphony toured Europe for the first time and became the first America orchestra to tour East Germany; and the following year the orchestra played the inaugural concert in their new venue, Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. Gary Good was the longest serving CEO for the Buffalo Philharmonic. He led the orchestra to its first Carnegie Hall appearance and its first international tour with Semyon Bychkov. While at the helm of the Milwaukee Symphony, he led the orchestra on two international tours and built a 400 station syndication radio network, along with production of more than two dozen recordings for Koss Recordings. He also initiated major fundraising efforts for the Omaha Performing Arts Center and the opening of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County in Florida.

At John Forsyte’s invitation in the fall of 2008, Gary Good came to Pacific Symphony where he worked in a variety of fundraising and project roles over the past 14 years. His many achievements with the orchestra include the following:

  • Endowments for three new principal chairs;
  • Building of the Opera-Vocal Initiative and growth of Opera Focus;
  • Special campaigns, including “Music for Generations,” Carl St.Clair’s 25th and 30th anniversaries, Pacific Symphony’s 40th anniversary and the expansion of the “Heartstrings” program; and
  • Stewardship of the “Ellis Island Medal of Honor Pacific Symphony project and subsequent national PBS Great Performances broadcast.

Gary Good and his wife Jackie have been generous contributors to Pacific Symphony’s Annual Fund and special events. They will be relocating to Kansas City this summer, where Jackie will be sustaining her longtime financial consulting business, and they will be closer to children and grandchildren. Good will continue his relationship with Pacific Symphony in a consulting role and as an author of guest blog posts. Pacific Symphony expresses its appreciation to Gary Good for his many contributions to Pacific Symphony during his distinguished 14-year tenure with the organization. 

L-R. Photo 1: Gary Good with Music Director Carl St.Clair. Photo 2: Gary with his wife, Jackie. Photo 3: President & CEO John Forsyte presents a gift basket to Gary.

2021 Staff Holiday Music Picks

Music is such an important part of every holiday. Everyone has their favorites. In this blog post, we’re going to feature some of our staff member’s picks. Please note that staff members are listed in alphabetical order by last name. 

HEATHER ARIAS DE CORDOBA (Interim Director of Marketing & Loyalty Campaigns

Aloha and Mele Kalikimaka! For eight years, I was so fortunate to live and work in Hawai‘i. I was the director of marketing and patron experience for the Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra, and in my time there, I worked with so many incredible musicians and artists. The holidays are different on-island with warm tropical breezes, family luaus, slippahs instead of stockings and Santa arriving by outrigger canoe. As the saying goes, you can take the girl out of Hawai‘i, but you can’t take Hawai‘i out of the girl – my holiday music pick is Mele Kalikimaka, not the familiar Bing Crosby version, but an island favorite from Grammy-nominated local artist Josh Tatofi. Mele Kalikimaka and Hau’oli Makahiki Hou! 

SHARON LEE (Executive Assistant)  

I unexpectedly stumbled upon this medieval carol a few years ago while listening to holiday music on the radio. I love it for the ancient feel of the music and the flawlessly sung Latin – my mom would have been in tears of joy to hear it! There are several very good recordings of it, but my personal favorite is by the King’s Singers.  

KATHRYN MUDGWAY (Public Relations & Social Media Associate

My first job right out of high school was at Disneyland Park. I was introduced to John Rutter’s “Candlelight Carol” as a member of the Cast Choir one year, and it has been a favorite ever since. “Candlelight Carol” is a special part of the Candlelight Processional, a holiday tradition at both the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts. While our performance was ultimately rained out, I was still able to be a part of the entire process leading up to it. Outside of the Disney affiliation, “Candlelight Carol” was originally published in 1986 and received its most popular recording featuring the Cambridge Singers. You can find it on The John Rutter Christmas Album.  

Honorable Mention: Because it’s always hard picking a favorite, the entire Vince Guaraldi Trio’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas” soundtrack.  

SAM NORDRUM (Patron Programs Associate)  

As a musician, it’s always a challenge to pick only one song as it’s the immense variety of compositions, arrangements, styles and genres that really light up the season for me and my family. For 2021, however, I have to pick Jennifer Pike’s performance of “The Lark Ascending” in London’s National Portrait Gallery. While not necessarily associated with the holidays, Vaughan Williams’s coloring of the musical line evokes a winter landscape in my mind, with the lark taking flight into a light flurry across a fluffy blanket of snow. The lark’s ascent, for me, symbolizes our upward path towards the warmer, brighter days of Spring from life’s Winters. 

JEAN OELRICH (Director of Communications

Christmas is my favorite holiday, especially here in Southern California. It sure beats celebrating Christmas in my hometown of Chicago aka ‘The Windy City,’ where the weather starts turning really nasty in December. There’s something so festive about holiday lights and ornaments on palm trees and cactuses and outdoor caroling when it’s 70 degrees. Also, Southern California has the best classical music radio station in the country: KUSC 91.5 FM. With so much wonderful holiday music to enjoy, I find it impossible to narrow my choice down to just one piece. So, I have to say my Holiday Music Pick is KUSC’s Holiday Spirit Channel, which is available for listening via the internet on your computer and also via apps for your iPhone or Android phone so the music can accompany you wherever you go. The online commercial-free holiday station features an engaging mix of sacred and secular music. And I keep discovering new holiday music that I’ve never heard before. Tune in, check it out and make your holiday merry! 

Listen: Holiday Spirit Channel

CAMERON REEVES (Operations Coordinator

The Nutcracker is a Christmas classic and a personal favorite of mine as the symphony’s Family Musical Morning’s: Nutcracker for Kids is my favorite performance to be a part of. This scene in particular reminds me of the excitement leading up to the holiday season and all the emotions this time of year brings. I love the clarinet solo and it never fails to make me smile. It reminds me of sneaking around in the middle of the night to see if Santa had arrived while not being seen or heard. 

Is your favorite listed here? What does your playlist look like this year? Let us know in the comments below! Have a great holiday season, everyone.